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   ► KBProgrammingVB.NetOOP   Print This    All Groups  
  From the June 2014 Issue of Prestwood eMag
VB.Net Access Modifiers
Posted 13 years ago on 12/20/2008 and updated 2/21/2009
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General Info: Class Visibility Specifiers

In OOP languages, members of a class have a specific scope that indicates visibility. Standard visibility includes private, protected, and public. Private members are usable by the defining class only (fully encapsulated). They are invisible outside of the class except by friendly classes. Protected members are usable by the defining class and descendant classes only (plus friendly classes). Public members are usable wherever its class can be referenced.

Languages Focus: Member Visibility

Traditional member visibility specifiers for fully OOP languages are private, protected, and public. Many modern OOP languages implement additional member visibilities.

Additional member modifiers are documented under the Member Modifiers topic.

VB.Net Access Modifiers

In VB.Net, you specify each class and each class member's visibility with an access modifier preceding class or member. The VB.Net access modifiers are the traditional Public, Protected, and Private plus the two additional .Net modifiers Friend and Protected Friend.

Friend indicates members are accessible from types in the same assembly. Protected Friend indicates members are accessible from types in the same assembly as well as descendant classes. OO purist might object to Friend and Protected Friend and I suggest you avoid them until you both fully understand them and have a need that is best suited by them.

Syntax Example:
Public Class Cyborg
Inherits Object
  Private FName As String
End Class

Default is Friend

The default for class and class members is Friend (members are accessible from types in the same assembly). This is different than with interfaces where the default for an interface is Friend but an interface's members are always public -- which makes sense but is noteworthy.

More Info

Definition:  Class Visibility Specifiers


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