Types

Types are the fundamental building blocks of the Oxygene language.

There are three broad categories of types:

Oxygene also has support for declaring types in special ways:

  • Generic Types are classes (or records and interfaces) where one or more of the other types that the class interacts with (for example to receive or return as a parameter from methods) is not well-defined, but kept generic. This allows for the class to be implemented in a fashion that it can work with or contain different type parameters. Only when a generic type is used, a concrete type is specified.

  • Partial Types are regular types that are declared and implemented across multiple source files – commonly to keep a large class easier to maintain, or because one part of the class is generated by a tool.

  • Mapped Types allow you to provide the definition of a type that will not exist at runtime, but merely map to a different, already existing type.

  • Type Extensions can expand an existing type with new methods or properties (but not new data), even if that type was originally declared in an external library.

  • Type Aliases can give a new name to an existing type.

Type Declarations

Custom Types and Aliases to existing types can be declared in the interface or implementation section of any source file, after a type keyword.

Each type declaration starts with the type's name, followed by an equal sign (=) and followed by optional Type Modifiers, which can also include a Visibility Lebel, followed by the details of the type declaration as specified in the individual custom type topics referenced above.

type
  MyClass = sealed class
  emd;

  MyInteger = public type Integer;

In the above example, MyClass ands MyInteger are the type names. they are followed by the equal sign, and the sealed and public type modifiers, respectively. Finally class ... end and Integer are the type declaration itself (a Class declaration and an Alias, in this case).

Type References

While Type Declarations, covered above, introduce a new type name, the most common interaction with types is to *reference existing ones.

Most types, including Simple Types and Custom Types, are referenced using simply their name – either their short name, or their fully qualified name including the Namespace.

var x: SomeClass; // Variable x is declared referencing the SomeClass type by name.

By contrast, Modified Types are referenced using a particular syntax specific to the type, such as the array of, sequence of of nullable keywords, often combined with a type name.

var x: array of SomeRecord; // Variable x is as an *array* of the type refered to by name
var y: nullable Integer;    // Variable x is as a *nullable* version of the names simple type.

On the Cocoa platform, type references can be prefixed with Storage Modifiers to determine how they interact with ARC

More on Type Names

Every named type (Simple Types and Custom Types) in Oxygene can be referred to either by its short name (e.g. MyClass), or what is called a fully qualified name that includes a full namespace (e.g. MyCompany.MyProject.MyClass).

When declaring types with a simple name, the type will automatically be placed within the namespace that is declared at the top of the file alongside the namespace keyword. Alternatively, a fully qualified name can be provided in the declaration to override the namespace.

namespace MyCompany.MyProject

interface

type
  MyClass = class // full name will be MyCompany.MyProject.MyClass
  end;

  MyCompany.OtherProject.OtherClass = class // full name will be MyCompany.OtherProject.OtherClass
  end;

You can read more about this in the Namespaces topic.

See Also