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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
If you want the deepest possible understanding of .NET’s Common Language Runtime, you’ll want to hear what Don Box has to say. Through the '90s, Box was arguably the world’s most influential writer on COM, and he personally coauthored the SOAP 1.1 specification. His understanding of advanced software integration issues is legendary. And now, with Chris Sells, he’s written the definitive guide to the CLR.
Box and Sells begin by reviewing COM’s key limitations, especially in extensibility and in the exchange of COM contract descriptions. The CLR, like COM, focuses on contracts -- but unlike COM, it provides a fully specified metadata format for describing them. Also unlike COM, CLR contracts describe logical type structure, not physical in-memory representations. That gives CLR powerful flexibility, while at the same time overcoming key problems that plague COM. These changes lead to a programming model that’s independent of task or language -- and hence, C#, VB.NET, and many other languages can be mapped to the CLR.
With this context, Box and Sells offer thorough explanations of CLR modules, assemblies, and the loader, the Common Type System, instances, AppDomains, and methods (including elements of the CLR’s method invocation architecture that draw on leading-edge Aspect-Oriented Programming ideas). The book concludes with an expert introduction to the CLR’s new secure execution model, and to the ways CLR-based programs relate to the world around them.
This isn’t beginner’s material, but if you’re already reasonably familiar with .NET, it’ll give you powerful insights for building better software. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.