What is the difference between out and ref parameters in .NET?

Both ref and out parameters are used to return multiple values from a method. They are used for the same purpose but the only difference is that: ref parameters have to be initialized before being passed as the method parameter but the out parameters need not be initialized.




Here is an example to demonstrate it:

class sampleClass {
int sampleMember1, sampleMember2;
public sampleClass(int value1, int value2) {
sampleMember1= value1;
sampleMember2= value2;
}
public void getValues(out int value1, ref int value2) {
value1 = sampleMember1;
value2 = sampleMember2;
}
public static void Main() {
sampleClass obj = new sampleClass(200,400);
int value1;
int value2=0;
obj.getValues(out value1, ref value2);
Console.WriteLine("The Values are: {0}, {1}", value1, value2);
}
}

Output of this code will be: The Values are: 200, 400

Note that in this example the out parameter value1 is not initialized and the ref parameter value2 is initialized to 0 before passing it to getValues method.

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