This page notes some differences between C# and boo.

C# to Boo Converter

The easiest way to see how code in boo differs from C# is to use the C# to boo converter included in the Boo AddIn For SharpDevelop.

The converter is also accessible online via a webform here:

While viewing a C# file in SharpDevelop, you can select from the menu: Tools -> Convert C# to boo. Or you can convert an entire C# project at once by right-clicking on the project icon and selecting: Convert -> C# to boo. Note, however, the converter is still new and in development.

The converter will convert C# to legal boo code, but it will not show you the simplest way to write that code. For example, instead of "System.Console.WriteLine(error) ", in boo you can simply say "print x". And many times the type will be declared "x as int" when it is unnecessary since the type can be inferred by the boo compiler: "x = 3" or "m = MyClass()".

C# vs. Boo Syntax Examples

Here is a table noting some diffences between C# and boo, based on this table from the Nemerle programming language site. See also the C# language specification.





int x = 3;
string y = "foo";
FooBarQux fbq = make_fbq ();
x = 3
y = "foo"
fbq = make_fbq()

Types are inferred, no semicolons needed

expr_1 = expr_2 = expr_3;
expr_1 = expr_2 = expr_3
Class c = new Class (params);
c = Class(params)

No "new" keyword required

Class[] c = new Class [size]
c = array(Class, size)

See Lists and Arrays

GenericClass<int> c = new GenericClass<int>();
c = GenericClass[of int]()

See Generics

Type[] l = new Type[] { expr_1, expr_1,
                      ..., expr_n }
l = (expr_1, expr_1,
       ..., expr_n)

Types are inferred when you use arrays

if (cond) return foo;
do_something ();
return bar;
if cond:
    return foo
//You can also say:
return foo if cond
return bar
if (cond) answer = 42;
if cond:
    answer = 42
answer = 42 if cond
if (!cond) answer = 42;
answer = 42 if not cond
try ...
catch (FooException e) { ... }
catch (BarException e) { ... }
except e as FooException:
except e as BarException:
try { foo (); bar (); }
catch (Exception e) { baz (); }
finally { qux (); }
except e:
throw new System.ArgumentException ("foo");
raise System.ArgumentException("foo")

Use "raise" to generate an exception.

type t = ((type) expr)
t = expr cast type
//null if cast fails:
t = expr as type

See Casting Types

using System.Windows.Forms;
Button button = control as Button;
if (button != null) ...
else ...
import System.Windows.Forms
button = control as Button
if button != null:
using System;
using SWF = System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Xml;
Console.WriteLine ("foo");
SWF.Form x = new SWF.Form ();
XmlDocument doc = new XmlDocument ();
import System
import System.Windows.Forms as SWF
import System.Xml

print "foo"
x = SWF.Form()
doc = XmlDocument()

You can creates aliases for namespaces.
Also use print instead of console.writeline.

readonly int X = 2;
const int Y = 3;
final X = 2
static final Y = 3

Read-only and constant fields.

Type definitions




static int foo (int x, string y)
{ ... }
static def foo(x as int, y as string) as int:

Use "def" for methods and functions.
Types are declared with the "as" keyword like VB.

class Foo : Bar {
public Foo (int x) : base (x) { ... }
class Foo (Bar):
    def constructor(x as int):

Illustrates a class with a superclass and
a constructor

class Foo {
int x;
class Foo:
    x as int

a class with a field

class Foo {
readonly int x;
class Foo:
    final x as int

or else a "const" keyword may be added to boo

class C : I1, I2 {
void I1.m () { ... }
void I2.m () { ... }
class C (I1, I2):
    def I1.m():
    def I2.m():

Implementing two interfaces that have
the same named method.

using System.Runtime.CompilerServices;
 class C {
public object this [int i] { ... }
public int this [string name] { ... }
import System.Reflection

class A:
	private _val = (1,2,3,4)

	MyItem(index as long) as int:
			return _val[index]
			_val[index] = value

a = A()
print a[2]
a[2] = 10
print a[2]

Use the DefaultMember attribute.

char c = 'a';
c = char('a')

char() builtin

float v = 1.0f;
f = 1.0f
f as single = 1.0

Uses "single" instead of "float"

Miscellaneous Differences and Similarities




// A comment.
/* A possibly multiline
comment. */
// A comment.
/* A possibly multiline
comment. */
# Another comment

C++ style commenting plus Python # comments.


Quoted string literals.
Triple-quoted strings can span multiple lines, too.

Other Notes on Differences Between C# and Boo

These are some early notes from looking at the C# language specification.

Assigning multiple variables at once

In C#, you can assign a value to two variables at once like so:

int a, b = 1

In boo, however, "a, b" refers to a sequence. So you would instead use:

a = b = 1

Note also declaring the type is unnecessary because of boo's Type Inference.

Use "a, b" when unpacking multiple values. For example:

name = "First Last"
firstname, lastname = @/ /.Split(name)
print firstname, lastname

Also note in boo you can use the "print" statement instead of System.Console.WriteLine.

Buffer overflow checking

You can turn off overflow checking in boo like so:

        i = 100000
        i += 1000000000
        i += 1000000000
        i += 1000000000
    print "did overflow i"

    j = 100000
    j += 1000000000
    j += 1000000000
    j += 1000000000
    print "didn't overflow j: $j"

Variable number of parameters.

static void F(params int[] args) {
      Console.WriteLine("# of arguments: {0}", args.Length);
      for (int i = 0; i < args.Length; i++)
      Console.WriteLine("\targs[{0}] = {1}", i, args[i]);

Boo uses syntax similar to python:

def F(*args as (int)):
    print "# of arguments: $(len(args))"
    for arg in args:
        print arg

By reference and output parameters.

In C# you can pass types to functions by reference using "ref" or "out" keywords.

static void Swap(ref int a, ref int b) {
      int t = a;
      a = b;
      b = t;
     Swap(ref x, ref y);

Boo supports the "ref" keyword, too, but not "out", which is unnecessary in boo.

def Swap(ref a as int, ref b as int):
      t = a
      a = b
      b = t
x = 1
y = 2

Note though that in this particular sample, you can swap two values more easily like so:

x = 1
y = 2

x, y = y, x
print x, y //-> 2 1

As a more general alternative to by reference parameters, in boo you can also return multiple values from a function instead:

def Swap(a as int, b as int):
    return b, a

a, b = Swap(a, b)

Things in C# but not Boo

do..while loop

Boo doesn't have do..while or do..until loops like C# or VB.NET.

You can emulate them with "while true" loops.

unsafe code

static void WriteLocations(byte[] arr) {
      unsafe {
         fixed (byte* pArray = arr) {
            byte* pElem = pArray;
            for (int i = 0; i < arr.Length; i++) {
               byte value = *pElem;
               Console.WriteLine("arr[{0}] at 0x{1:X} is {2}",
               i, (uint)pElem, value);