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The Dispose(bool disposing) Pattern is Broken

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29 Apr 2020CPOL7 min read 38.1K   20  
SafeHandles came to solve the problem, but the MSDN documentation on them is also broken.
In .NET, the relationship between Dispose() and finalizers is confusing. In this post, we take a look at the Dispose pattern, the snowball effect of the pattern and why the pattern is broken. Then, we take a look at one of the solutions, namely, SafeHandles. Finally, we reanalyze the problem.


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This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Software Developer (Senior) Microsoft
United States United States
I started to program computers when I was 11 years old, as a hobbyist, programming in AMOS Basic and Blitz Basic for Amiga.
At 12 I had my first try with assembler, but it was too difficult at the time. Then, in the same year, I learned C and, after learning C, I was finally able to learn assembler (for Motorola 680x0).
Not sure, but probably between 12 and 13, I started to learn C++. I always programmed "in an object oriented way", but using function pointers instead of virtual methods.

At 15 I started to learn Pascal at school and to use Delphi. At 16 I started my first internship (using Delphi). At 18 I started to work professionally using C++ and since then I've developed my programming skills as a professional developer in C++ and C#, generally creating libraries that help other developers do their work easier, faster and with less errors.

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Codeproject MVP 2012, 2015 & 2016
Microsoft MVP 2013-2014 (in October 2014 I started working at Microsoft, so I can't be a Microsoft MVP anymore).

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