What is GetCompent doing?

Why do I see people using GetComponent&ltname&gt, and how is it different from GetComponent(name)?

I am sure this has been asked but I can’t figure how to properly ask the question since I don’t really understand what <> does.

GetComponent has three overloads:

 public T GetComponent<T>();
 public Component GetComponent(string type);
 public Component GetComponent(Type type);

The main difference for the <> version is that it already returns the correct type while the other two versions return a Component that needs to be casted to the correct type.

These three lines taken from the documentation do the same:

  HingeJoint hinge = gameObject.GetComponent<HingeJoint>( );
  HingeJoint hinge = gameObject.GetComponent( "HingeJoint" ) as HingeJoint;
  HingeJoint hinge = gameObject.GetComponent( typeof(HingeJoint) ) as HingeJoint;

As for the <>: Look up “C# generics”