I am reading Pro C#. It says

do be aware that the value 0 is automatically returned, even if you construct a Main() method prototyped to return void.

What does prototyped mean in this context?

The only C# related definition of a prototype I'm aware of has to do with a model or test program tossed together without the intention to go to production.

  • What about javascript prototypes? Ever hear about them?
    – Oded
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 15:33
  • @Oded oh yea, sure. Though, that certainly doesn't apply here. Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 15:34
  • Just making the point ;)
    – Oded
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


In this context, I believe the phrase is used a as synonym to a method signature.

You can call any method signature the prototype of the actual call.

A bit of a throwback to c and header files.

See wikipedia - Function prototype:

A function prototype in C, Perl or C++ is a declaration of a function that omits the function body but does specify the function's return type, name, arity and argument types. While a function definition specifies what a function does, a function prototype can be thought of as specifying its interface.


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