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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

CLR and Mono Runtime difference - XmlSerializer for read-only auto-property

This is one of a number of posts to highlight runtime difference between Mono and CLR/.Net. It is not a criticism of the good works of the Mono team but to highlight the differences so that developer interested in using Mono as a cross platform development platform, like me, is aware of them and to take necessary avoidance strategy.

Of course, in a perfect world, there shouldn't be any runtime difference and let's hope these posts are of transient nature.

This post draws reader's attention to the difference of the runtime behaviour of  System.Xml.Serialization.XmlSerializer in Mono and in CLR. 

In CLR, if the serializer is presented with a class that has read-only auto-property, the runtime will throw an exception, System.InvalidOperationException, whose origin can be traced to the sgen.exe. However, when the same piece of IL code is executed in Mono (without compilation), there is no exception and in fact Mono would blissfully serialize/deserialize those read-only auto-properties, which is clearly wrong.

This runtime discrepancy only arises only if you use read-only auto-property like this:

public class Sample
   public String Name { get; private set; }
   // ....

Mono can handle any other forms of read-only property constructs.

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