Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Common Language Runtime

The CLR is the very core of .NET. As the name suggests, it is a run-time environment in which applications written in different languages can all play and get along nicely-otherwise known as cross-language interoperability. How does the CLR provide this cozy environment for cross-language interoperability? The Common Language Specification (CLS) is a set of rules that a language compiler must adhere to in order to create .NET applications that run in the CLR. Anyone, even you or me, who wants to write a .NET-compliant compiler needs simply to adhere to these rules and, voila!, the applications generated from our compilers will run right alongside any other .NET application and have the same interoperability.
An important concept related to the CLR is managed code. Managed code is just code that is running under the auspices of the CLR and is therefore being managed by the CLR. Think of it like this: In today's Microsoft Windows environments, we have disparate processes running. The only rule that applications are required to follow is that they behave well in the Windows environment. These applications are created by using one of a multitude of completely dissimilar compilers. In other words, the applications have to obey only the most general of rules to run under Windows.
The Windows environment has few global rules regarding how the applications must behave in terms of communicating with one another, allocating memory, or even enlisting the Windows operating system to do work on their behalf. However, in a managed code environment, a number of rules are in place to ensure that all applications behave in a globally uniform manner, regardless of the language they were written in. The uniform behavior of .NET applications is the essence of .NET and can't be overstated. Luckily for you and me, these global rules primarily affect the compiler writers.

1 comment:

  1. Your information about CLR is really interesting and innovative. Also I want you to share latest updates about this CLR. Can you update it in your website? Thanks for sharing
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