Monday, August 17, 2009

What is the CLR?

CLR = Common Language Runtime. The CLR is a set of standard resources that (in theory) any .NET program can take advantage of, regardless of programming language. Robert Schmidt (Microsoft) lists the following CLR resources in his MSDN PDC# article:
Object-oriented programming model (inheritance, polymorphism, exception handling, garbage collection)
Security model
Type system
All .NET base classes
Many .NET framework classes
Development, debugging, and profiling tools
Execution and code management
IL-to-native translators and optimizers
What this means is that in the .NET world, different programming languages will be more equal in capability than they have ever been before, although clearly not all languages will support all CLR services.

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