Friday, April 18, 2008

Is the lack of deterministic destruction in .NET a problem?

It's certainly an issue that affects component design. If you have objects that maintain expensive or scarce resources (e.g. database locks), you need to provide some way for the client to tell the object to release the resource when it is done. Microsoft recommend that you provide a method called Dispose() for this purpose. However, this causes problems for distributed objects - in a distributed system who calls the Dispose() method? Some form of reference-counting or ownership-management mechanism is needed to handle distributed objects - unfortunately the runtime offers no help with this.

Why doesn't the .NET runtime offer deterministic destruction?

Because of the garbage collection algorithm. The .NET garbage collector works by periodically running through a list of all the objects that are currently being referenced by an application. All the objects that it doesn't find during this search are ready to be destroyed and the memory reclaimed. The implication of this algorithm is that the runtime doesn't get notified immediately when the final reference on an object goes away - it only finds out during the next sweep of the heap.
Futhermore, this type of algorithm works best by performing the garbage collection sweep as rarely as possible. Normally heap exhaustion is the trigger for a collection sweep.

Why string are called Immutable data Type ?

The memory representation of string is an Array of Characters, So on re-assigning the new array of Char is formed & the start address is changed . Thus keeping the Old string in Memory for Garbage Collector to be disposed.

What is side-by-side execution? Can two application one using private assembly and other using Shared assembly be stated as a side-by-side executable

Side-by-side execution is the ability to run multiple versions of an application or component on the same computer. You can have multiple versions of the common language runtime, and multiple versions of applications and components that use a version of the runtime, on the same computer at the same time. Since versioning is only applied to shared assemblies, and not to private assemblies, two application one using private assembly and one using shared assembly cannot be stated as side-by-side

Changes to which portion of version number indicates an incompatible change?

Major or minor. Changes to the major or minor portion of the version number indicate an incompatible change. Under this convention then, version would be considered incompatible with version Examples of an incompatible change would be a change to the types of some method parameters or the removal of a type or method altogether. Build. The Build number is typically used to distinguish between daily builds or smaller compatible releases. Revision. Changes to the revision number are typically reserved for an incremental build needed to fix a particular bug. You'll sometimes hear this referred to as the "emergency bug fix" number in that the revision is what is often changed when a fix to a specific bug is shipped to a customer.

What is Partial Assembly References?

Full Assembly reference: A full assembly reference includes the assembly's text name, version, culture, and public key token (if the assembly has a strong name). A full assembly reference is required if you reference any assembly that is part of the common
language runtime or any assembly located in the global assembly cache.

Partial Assembly reference: We can dynamically reference an assembly by providing only partial information, such as specifying only the assembly name. When you specify a partial assembly reference, the runtime looks for the assembly only in the application

We can make partial references to an assembly in your code one of the following ways:

-> Use a method such as System.Reflection.Assembly.Load and specify only a partial reference. The runtime checks for the assembly in the application directory.

-> Use the System.Reflection.Assembly.LoadWithPartialName method and specify only a partial reference. The runtime checks for the assembly in the application directory and in the global assembly cache

What is the difference between Finalize and Dispose (Garbage collection) ?

Class instances often encapsulate control over resources that are not managed by the runtime, such as window handles (HWND), database connections, and so on. Therefore, you should provide both an explicit and an implicit way to free those resources. Provide implicit control by implementing the protected Finalize Method on an object (destructor syntax in C# and the Managed Extensions for C++). The garbage collector calls this method at some point after there are no longer any valid references to the object. In some cases, you might want to provide programmers using an object with the ability to explicitly release these external resources before the garbage collector frees the object. If an external resource is scarce or expensive, better performance can be achieved if the programmer explicitly releases resources when they are no longer being used. To provide explicit control, implement the Dispose method provided by the IDisposable Interface. The consumer of the object should call this method when it is done using the object.
Dispose can be called even if other references to the object are alive. Note that even when you provide explicit control by way of Dispose, you should provide implicit cleanup using the Finalize method. Finalize provides a backup to prevent resources from permanently leaking if the programmer fails to call Dispose.

What is reflection?

All .NET compilers produce metadata about the types defined in the modules they produce. This metadata is packaged along with the module (modules in turn are packaged together in assemblies), and can be accessed by a mechanism called reflection. The System.Reflection namespace contains classes that can be used to interrogate the types for a module/assembly.

Using reflection to access .NET metadata is very similar to using ITypeLib/ITypeInfo to access type library data in COM, and it is used for similar purposes - e.g. determining data type sizes for marshaling data across context/process/machine boundaries.
Reflection can also be used to dynamically invoke methods (see System.Type.InvokeMember ) , or even create types dynamically at run-time (see System.Reflection.Emit.TypeBuilder).

What does 'managed' mean in the .NET context?

The term 'managed' is the cause of much confusion. It is used in various places within .NET, meaning slightly different things.Managed code: The .NET framework provides several core run-time services to the programs that run within it - for example
exception handling and security. For these services to work, the code must provide a minimum level of information to the runtime.
Such code is called managed code. All C# and Visual Basic.NET code is managed by default. VS7 C++ code is not managed by default, but the compiler can produce managed code by specifying a command-line switch (/com+).

Managed data: This is data that is allocated and de-allocated by the .NET runtime's garbage collector. C# and VB.NET data is always managed. VS7 C++ data is unmanaged by default, even when using the /com+ switch, but it can be marked as managed using the __gc keyword.Managed classes: This is usually referred to in the context of Managed Extensions (ME) for C++. When using ME C++, a class can be marked with the __gc keyword. As the name suggests, this means that the memory for instances of the class is managed by the garbage collector, but it also means more than that. The class becomes a fully paid-up member of the .NET community with the benefits and restrictions that brings. An example of a benefit is proper interop with classes written in other languages - for example, a managed C++ class can inherit from a VB class. An example of a restriction is that a managed class can only inherit from one base class.

What is Boxing and unboxing? How Boxing and unboxing occures in memory?  Why only boxed types can be unboxed?

Boxing – Process of converting a System.ValueType to Reference Type , Mostly base class System.Object type and allocating it memory on Heap .Reverse is unboxing , but can only be done with prior boxed variables.
Boxing is always implicit but Unboxing needs to be explicitly done via casting , thus ensuring the value type contained inside .

Boxing converts value type to reference type , thus allocating memory on Heap . Unboxing converts already boxed reference types to value types through explicit casting , thus allocating memory on stack .

Unboxing is the process of converting a Reference type variable to Value type and thus allocating memory on the stack . It happens only to those Reference type variables that have been earlier created by Boxing of a Value Type , therefore internally they contain a value type , which can be

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Can I create my own permission set?

Yes. Use caspol -ap, specifying an XML file containing the permissions in the permission set. To save you some time, here is a sample file corresponding to the 'Everything' permission set - just edit to suit your needs. When you have edited the sample, add it to the range of available permission sets like this:
caspol -ap samplepermset.xml
Then, to apply the permission set to a code group, do something like this:
caspol -cg 1.3 SamplePermSet (By default, 1.3 is the 'Internet' code group)

How do I change the permission set for a code group?

Use caspol. If you are the machine administrator, you can operate at the 'machine' level - which means not only that the changes you make become the default for the machine, but also that users cannot change the permissions to be more permissive. If you are a normal (non-admin) user you can still modify the permissions, but only to make them more restrictive. For example, to allow intranet code to do what it likes you might do this:
caspol -cg 1.2 FullTrust
Note that because this is more permissive than the default policy (on a standard system), you should only do this at the machine level - doing it at the user level will have no effect.

What is Event - Delegate? clear syntax for writing a event delegate

The event keyword lets you specify a delegate that will be called upon the occurrence of some "event" in your code. The delegate can have one or more associated methods that will be called when your code indicates that the event has occurred. An event in one program can be made available to other programs that target the .NET Framework Common Language Runtime.
// keyword_delegate.cs
// delegate declaration
delegate void MyDelegate(int i);

What is portable executable (PE)?

The file format defining the structure that all executable files (EXE) and Dynamic Link Libraries (DLL) must use to allow them to be loaded and executed by Windows. PE is derived from the Microsoft Common Object File Format (COFF). The EXE and DLL files created using the .NET Framework obey the PE/COFF formats and also add additional header and data sections to the files that are only used by the CLR. The specification for the PE/COFF file formats is available at

What is strong name?

A name that consists of an assembly's identity—its simple text name, version number, and culture information (if provided)—strengthened by a public key and a digital signature generated over the assembly.

What is JIT (just in time)? how it works?

Before Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) can be executed, it must be converted by a .NET Framework just-in-time (JIT) compiler to native code, which is CPU-specific code that runs on the same computer architecture as the JIT compiler.
Rather than using time and memory to convert all the MSIL in a portable executable (PE) file to native code, it converts the MSIL as it is needed during execution and stores the resulting native code so that it is accessible for subsequent calls.
The runtime supplies another mode of compilation called install-time code generation. The install-time code generation mode converts MSIL to native code just as the regular JIT compiler does, but it converts larger units of code at a time, storing the resulting native code for use when the assembly is subsequently loaded and executed.
As part of compiling MSIL to native code, code must pass a verification process unless an administrator has established a security policy that allows code to bypass verification. Verification examines MSIL and metadata to find out whether the code can be determined to be type safe, which means that it is known to access only the memory locations it is authorized to access.

Can I write IL programs directly?

Yes. Peter Drayton posted this simple example to the DOTNET mailing list:
.assembly MyAssembly {}
.class MyApp {
.method static void Main() {
ldstr "Hello, IL!"
call void System.Console::WriteLine(class System.Object)
Just put this into a file called, and then run ilasm An exe assembly will be generated.
Can I do things in IL that I can't do in C#?
Yes. A couple of simple examples are that you can throw exceptions that are not derived from System.Exception, and you can have non-zero-based arrays.

What is a CLR host?

The Windows operating system does not provide support for running a CLR application. That support is provided by a CLR host. A CLR host is an application that is responsible for loading the CLR into a process, creating application domains within the process, and executing user code within the application domains. Examples of hosts that ship with the .NET Framework include:
ASP.NET. An ISAPI filter that ships with ASP.NET loads the CLR and does the initialization necessary to handle web requests.
Internet Explorer. A MIME filter hooks into Internet Explorer versions 5.01 and higher to execute managed controls referenced from HTML pages.
Shell Executables. When a managed application is launched from a shell, a small piece of unmanaged code loads the CLR and transitions control of the application to the CLR.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What is Code Access Security (CAS)?

CAS is the part of the .NET security model that determines whether or not a piece of code is allowed to run, and what resources it can use when it is running. For example, it is CAS that will prevent a .NET web applet from formatting your hard disk.
How does CAS work?
The CAS security policy revolves around two key concepts - code groups and permissions. Each .NET assembly is a member of a particular code group, and each code group is granted the permissions specified in a named permission set.
For example, using the default security policy, a control downloaded from a web site belongs to the 'Zone - Internet' code group, which adheres to the permissions defined by the 'Internet' named permission set. (Naturally the 'Internet' named permission set represents a very restrictive range of permissions.)

What is Event - Delegate? clear syntax for writing a event delegate

The event keyword lets you specify a delegate that will be called upon the occurrence of some "event" in your code. The delegate can have one or more associated methods that will be called when your code indicates that the event has occurred. An event in one program can be made available to other programs that target the .NET Framework Common Language Runtime.
// keyword_delegate.cs
// delegate declaration
delegate void MyDelegate(int i);
11. class Program
12. {
13. public static void Main()
14. {
15. TakesADelegate(new MyDelegate(DelegateFunction));
16. }
17. public static void TakesADelegate(MyDelegate SomeFunction)
18. {
19. SomeFunction(21);
20. }
21. public static void DelegateFunction(int i)
22. {
23. System.Console.WriteLine("Called by delegate with number: {0}.", i);
24. }

What is MSIL, IL?

When compiling to managed code, the compiler translates your source code into Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL), which is a CPU-independent set of instructions that can be efficiently converted to native code. MSIL includes instructions for loading, storing, initializing, and calling methods on objects, as well as instructions for arithmetic and logical operations, control flow, direct memory access, exception handling, and other operations. Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) is a language used as the output of a number of compilers and as the input to a just-in-time (JIT) compiler. The common language runtime includes a JIT compiler for converting MSIL to native code.

Is .NET a runtime service or a development platform?

Ans: It's both and actually a lot more. Microsoft .NET includes a new way of delivering software and services to businesses and consumers. A part of Microsoft.NET is the .NET Frameworks. The .NET frameworks SDK consists of two parts: the .NET common language runtime and the .NET class library. In addition, the SDK also includes command-line compilers for C#, C++, JScript, and VB. You use these compilers to build applications and components. These components require the runtime to execute so this is a development platform.

What is CLR, CTS, CLS?

The .NET Framework provides a runtime environment called the Common Language Runtime or CLR (similar to the Java Virtual Machine or JVM in Java), which handles the execution of code and provides useful services for the implementation of the program. CLR takes care of code management at program execution and provides various beneficial services such as memory management, thread management, security management, code verification, compilation, and other system services. The managed code that targets CLR benefits from useful features such as cross-language integration, cross-language exception handling, versioning, enhanced security, deployment support, and debugging.
Common Type System (CTS) describes how types are declared, used and managed in the runtime and facilitates cross-language integration, type safety, and high performance code execution.
The CLS is simply a specification that defines the rules to support language integration in such a way that programs written in any language, yet can interoperate with one another, taking full advantage of inheritance, polymorphism, exceptions, and other features. These rules and the specification are documented in the ECMA proposed standard document, "Partition I Architecture",

What is .NET Framework?

The .NET Framework has two main components: the common language runtime and the .NET Framework class library.
You can think of the runtime as an agent that manages code at execution time, providing core services such as memory management, thread management, and remoting, while also enforcing strict type safety and other forms of code accuracy that ensure security and robustness.
The class library, is a comprehensive, object-oriented collection of reusable types that you can use to develop applications ranging from traditional command-line or graphical user interface (GUI) applications to applications based on the latest innovations provided by ASP.NET, such as Web Forms and XML Web services.