#429 – Use the Dispose Pattern for Deterministic Destruction

You can implement a finalizer in a class to explicitly release unmanaged resources before an object’s memory is freed.  Drawbacks of this approach include:

  • You don’t control when the object’s resources are cleaned up
  • A finalizer can’t make use of any other managed objects  (they may have already been finalized)

Another pattern for releasing unmanaged resources is for a class to implement the IDisposable interface by providing a Dispose method.  Dispose is meant to clean up the object’s resources when it’s called.  A client of the class can decide exactly when it wants to release the object’s resources (deterministic destruction).  Benefits of this pattern include:

  • Can release resources earlier, not waiting for finalization
  • Dispose logic can make use of other managed resources
    public class Dog : IDisposable
    {
        public void Dispose()
        {
            // Release unmanaged resources here

            // Note: need logic to prevent double disposal, etc.
        }
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About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about .NET technologies. Equally passionate about my own personal projects related to family history and preservation of family stories and photos.

3 Responses to #429 – Use the Dispose Pattern for Deterministic Destruction

  1. Pingback: #430 – A Dispose Pattern Example « 2,000 Things You Should Know About C#

  2. Pingback: #646 – Value Types Don’t Have Finalizers « 2,000 Things You Should Know About C#

  3. Pingback: #941 – Checking to See If Objects Are Disposable | 2,000 Things You Should Know About C#

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