Catalogue


Essential .NET /
Don Box, with Chris Sells.
imprint
Boston, MA : Addison-Wesley, c2003-
description
v. : ill.
ISBN
0201734117 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Journal
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Boston, MA : Addison-Wesley, c2003-
isbn
0201734117 (alk. paper)
contents note
Vol. 1. The common language runtime.
catalogue key
4746243
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Don Box is an architect at Microsoft working on next-generation Web service protocols and programming models. Don is an authority on software integration technologies and spent much of the 1990s preparing the Component Object Model (COM) community for the CLR. Chris Sells is an independent consultant specializing in COM and .NET and an instructor for DevelopMentor
Excerpts
Introduction or Preface
What Happened? In 1998, Microsoft held a Professional Developer''s Conference (PDC) in San Diego. COM luminary Charlie Kindel stood up in a general session and proclaimed "no more GUIDsno more HRESULTsno more IUnknown." He and Mary Kirtland proceeded to show the basic architecture of the CLR, then known as the COM+ Runtime. Later in the session, Nat Brown and David Stutz stood up and demonstrated cross-language inheritance using Visual Basic and Java. Attendees actually went home with CDs containing primitive versions of compilers that could reproduce this very odd demonstration. It is now February 2002, and this technology has finally shipped in release form. There are two days that will forever demarcate the evolution of the Microsoft platform. On July 27, 1993, Windows NT 3.1 was released, marking the end of the DOS era. On February 13, 2002, the Common Language Runtime (CLR) was released as part of the .NET Framework, marking the end of the COM era. The .NET Framework is a platform for software integration. Fundamentally, the .NET Framework provides two core integration technologies. The Common Language Runtime (CLR) is used to integrate software within a single operating system process. XML Web Services are used to integrate software at Internet scale. Both rely on similar ideas, that is, strongly typed contracts and encapsulation. Fundamentally, though, they are two distinct technologies that one can elect to adopt independently of one another. It is completely reasonable to adopt XMLWeb Services prior to the CLR (in fact, many production Web services have already done this). It is also reasonable to adopt the CLR in the absence of XMLWeb Services in order to access CLR-specific features such as code access security or superior memory management facilities. Going forward, however, both the CLR and XML Web Services will be central to the Microsoft development platform, and it is only a matter of time before both of these technologies play a role in everyone''s development experience. The CLR and XML Web Services are both focused on strongly typed contracts between components. Both technologies require developers to describe component interactions in terms of type definitions or contracts. In both technologies, these contracts share two key ideas that tend to permeate their use: metadata and virtualization. Both the CLR and XMLWeb Services rely on high-fidelity, ubiquitous, and extensible metadata to convey programmer intention. Metadata conveys the basic structure and type relationships to the developers who will consume a CLR component or XMLWeb Service. Equally important, ubiquitous metadata informs the tools and underlying platform of what the component developers had in mind when they were authoring the code. This metadata-directed "clairvoyance" allows the platform to provide richer support than would be possible if the component were completely opaque. For example, various aspects of object-to-XML mapping are captured in metadata for use by the CLR''s XML serializer. How the developer intended the XML to look is conveyed through declarative metadata extensions rather than through explicit labor-intensive coding. The second key idea that permeates CLR and XML Web Service contracts is the notion of virtualization. Both technologies emphasize the separation of semantic intentions from physical implementation details. Specifically, the metadata for both technologies work at an abstract structural level rather than in terms of low-level data representations and implementation techniques. When developers specify intercomponent contracts at this "virtual" level, the underlying platform is free to express the contracts in the most appropriate manner available. For example, by expressing Web Service contracts in terms of an abstract data model, the plumbing is free to use an efficient binary data representation for performance or to use the text-based XML 1.0 representation for maximum interoperability. Because contracts are virtualized, this specific detail of the contract can be bound at runtime based on post-development characteristics. Because this volume focuses exclusively on the CLR, a working definition of the CLR is in order. The CLR is fundamentally a loader that brings your components to life inside an operating system process. The CLR replaces COM''sCoCreateInstanceand Win32''sLoadLibraryas the primary loader for code. The CLR loader provides a number of services beyond what COM and Win32 offered before it. The CLR loader is version-aware and provides flexible configuration of version policies and code repositories. The CLR loader is security-aware and is a critical part of the enforcement of security policy. The CLR loader is type-aware and provides a rich runtime environment for the explicit management and creation of types independent of programming language. In short, the CLR loader is an advanced component technology that supplants COM as Microsoft''s primary in-memory integration strategy. The CLR is made accessible through compilers that emit the CLR''s new file format. Program language wonks view the CLR as providing key building blocks for compiler writers, building blocks that reduce the complexity of compiler implementations. In contrast, systems wonks often view programming languages as facades or "skins" over the underlying constructs of the CLR. The author falls firmly into the latter camp. However, programming languages are a necessary lens through which even low-level systems plumbers view the CLR. To that end, examples in this book are written in various programming languages because binary dumps of metadata and code are arcane to the point of being incomprehensible. About This Book I try very hard to make a book readable and accessible to a wide array of readers, but invariably, my terse writing style tends to make a "Don Box book" a challenge to get through. Experience has shown me that I am horrible at writing tutorials or primers. What I can do reasonably well is convey how I see the world in book form. To that end, it is not uncommon to need to read a Don Box book more than once to get the intended benefits. As the previous paragraph implied, this book is by no means a tutorial. If you try to learn .NET Framework programming from a standing start using this book, the results may not be pretty. For readers looking for a good tutorial on .NET programming techniques or the C# language, please read Stan Lippman''s C# Primer(Addison-Wesley, 2002) or Jeffery Richter''s Applied .NET Framework Programming(Microsoft Press, 2002) before taking on this book. This book is divided into two volumes. Volume 1 focuses on the Common Language Runtime. Volume 2 will focus ST3on XMLWeb Services. Although the two technologies share a fair number of core concepts, the thought of covering them both in a single book made my head spin. This book was written against Version 1 of the CLR. Some of the internal techniques used by the CLR may evolve over time and may in fact change radically. In particular, the details of virtual method dispatch are very subject to change. They are included in this book largely as an homage to COM developers wondering where the vptr went. That stated, the basic concepts that are the focus of this book are likely to remain stable for years to come. Throughout the book, I use assertions in code to reinforce the expected state of a program. In the CLR, assertions are performed usingSystem.Diagnostics.Debug.Assert, which accepts a Boolean expression as its argument. If the expression evaluates to false, then the assertion has failed and the program will halt with a distinguished error message. For readability, all code in this book uses the short form,Debug.Assert, which assumes that theSystem.Diagnosticsnamespace prefix has been imported. My perspec
Introduction or Preface
What Happened? In 1998, Microsoft held a Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) in San Diego. COM luminary Charlie Kindel stood up in a general session and proclaimed "no more GUIDsno more HRESULTsno more IUnknown." He and Mary Kirtland proceeded to show the basic architecture of the CLR, then known as the COM+ Runtime. Later in the session, Nat Brown and David Stutz stood up and demonstrated cross-language inheritance using Visual Basic and Java. Attendees actually went home with CDs containing primitive versions of compilers that could reproduce this very odd demonstration. It is now February 2002, and this technology has finally shipped in release form. There are two days that will forever demarcate the evolution of the Microsoft platform. On July 27, 1993, Windows NT 3.1 was released, marking the end of the DOS era. On February 13, 2002, the Common Language Runtime (CLR) was released as part of the .NET Framework, marking the end of the COM era. The .NET Framework is a platform for software integration. Fundamentally, the .NET Framework provides two core integration technologies. The Common Language Runtime (CLR) is used to integrate software within a single operating system process. XML Web Services are used to integrate software at Internet scale. Both rely on similar ideas, that is, strongly typed contracts and encapsulation. Fundamentally, though, they are two distinct technologies that one can elect to adopt independently of one another. It is completely reasonable to adopt XMLWeb Services prior to the CLR (in fact, many production Web services have already done this). It is also reasonable to adopt the CLR in the absence of XMLWeb Services in order to access CLR-specific features such as code access security or superior memory management facilities. Going forward, however, both the CLR and XML Web Services will be central to the Microsoft development platform, and it is only a matter of time before both of these technologies play a role in everyone's development experience. The CLR and XML Web Services are both focused on strongly typed contracts between components. Both technologies require developers to describe component interactions in terms of type definitions or contracts. In both technologies, these contracts share two key ideas that tend to permeate their use: metadata and virtualization. Both the CLR and XMLWeb Services rely on high-fidelity, ubiquitous, and extensible metadata to convey programmer intention. Metadata conveys the basic structure and type relationships to the developers who will consume a CLR component or XMLWeb Service. Equally important, ubiquitous metadata informs the tools and underlying platform of what the component developers had in mind when they were authoring the code. This metadata-directed "clairvoyance" allows the platform to provide richer support than would be possible if the component were completely opaque. For example, various aspects of object-to-XML mapping are captured in metadata for use by the CLR's XML serializer. How the developer intended the XML to look is conveyed through declarative metadata extensions rather than through explicit labor-intensive coding. The second key idea that permeates CLR and XML Web Service contracts is the notion of virtualization. Both technologies emphasize the separation of semantic intentions from physical implementation details. Specifically, the metadata for both technologies work at an abstract structural level rather than in terms of low-level data representations and implementation techniques. When developers specify intercomponent contracts at this "virtual" level, the underlying platform is free to express the contracts in the most appropriate manner available. For example, by expressing Web Service contracts in terms of an abstract data model, the plumbing is free to use an efficient binary data representation for performance or to use the text-based XM
First Chapter

What Happened?

In 1998, Microsoft held a Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) in San Diego. COM luminary Charlie Kindel stood up in a general session and proclaimed "no more GUIDs—no more HRESULTs—no more IUnknown." He and Mary Kirtland proceeded to show the basic architecture of the CLR, then known as the COM+ Runtime. Later in the session, Nat Brown and David Stutz stood up and demonstrated cross-language inheritance using Visual Basic and Java. Attendees actually went home with CDs containing primitive versions of compilers that could reproduce this very odd demonstration. It is now February 2002, and this technology has finally shipped in release form.

There are two days that will forever demarcate the evolution of the Microsoft platform. On July 27, 1993, Windows NT 3.1 was released, marking the end of the DOS era. On February 13, 2002, the Common Language Runtime (CLR) was released as part of the .NET Framework, marking the end of the COM era.

The .NET Framework is a platform for software integration. Fundamentally, the .NET Framework provides two core integration technologies. The Common Language Runtime (CLR) is used to integrate software within a single operating system process. XML Web Services are used to integrate software at Internet scale. Both rely on similar ideas, that is, strongly typed contracts and encapsulation. Fundamentally, though, they are two distinct technologies that one can elect to adopt independently of one another. It is completely reasonable to adopt XMLWeb Services prior to the CLR (in fact, many production Web services have already done this). It is also reasonable to adopt the CLR in the absence of XMLWeb Services in order to access CLR-specific features such as code access security or superior memory management facilities. Going forward, however, both the CLR and XML Web Services will be central to the Microsoft development platform, and it is only a matter of time before both of these technologies play a role in everyone's development experience.

The CLR and XML Web Services are both focused on strongly typed contracts between components. Both technologies require developers to describe component interactions in terms of type definitions or contracts. In both technologies, these contracts share two key ideas that tend to permeate their use: metadata and virtualization.

Both the CLR and XMLWeb Services rely on high-fidelity, ubiquitous, and extensible metadata to convey programmer intention. Metadata conveys the basic structure and type relationships to the developers who will consume a CLR component or XMLWeb Service.

Equally important, ubiquitous metadata informs the tools and underlying platform of what the component developers had in mind when they were authoring the code.

This metadata-directed "clairvoyance" allows the platform to provide richer support than would be possible if the component were completely opaque. For example, various aspects of object-to-XML mapping are captured in metadata for use by the CLR's XML serializer. How the developer intended the XML to look is conveyed through declarative metadata extensions rather than through explicit labor-intensive coding.

The second key idea that permeates CLR and XML Web Service contracts is the notion of virtualization. Both technologies emphasize the separation of semantic intentions from physical implementation details. Specifically, the metadata for both technologies work at an abstract structural level rather than in terms of low-level data representations and implementation techniques. When developers specify intercomponent contracts at this "virtual" level, the underlying platform is free to express the contracts in the most appropriate manner available. For example, by expressing Web Service contracts in terms of an abstract data model, the plumbing is free to use an efficient binary data representation for performance or to use the text-based XML 1.0 representation for maximum interoperability.

Because contracts are virtualized, this specific detail of the contract can be bound at runtime based on post-development characteristics.

Because this volume focuses exclusively on the CLR, a working definition of the CLR is in order. The CLR is fundamentally a loader that brings your components to life inside an operating system process. The CLR replaces COM'sCoCreateInstanceand Win32'sLoadLibraryas the primary loader for code.

The CLR loader provides a number of services beyond what COM and Win32 offered before it. The CLR loader is version-aware and provides flexible configuration of version policies and code repositories. The CLR loader is security-aware and is a critical part of the enforcement of security policy. The CLR loader is type-aware and provides a rich runtime environment for the explicit management and creation of types independent of programming language. In short, the CLR loader is an advanced component technology that supplants COM as Microsoft's primary in-memory integration strategy.

The CLR is made accessible through compilers that emit the CLR's new file format. Program language wonks view the CLR as providing key building blocks for compiler writers, building blocks that reduce the complexity of compiler implementations. In contrast, systems wonks often view programming languages as facades or "skins" over the underlying constructs of the CLR. The author falls firmly into the latter camp. However, programming languages are a necessary lens through which even low-level systems plumbers view the CLR. To that end, examples in this book are written in various programming languages because binary dumps of metadata and code are arcane to the point of being incomprehensible.

About This Book

I try very hard to make a book readable and accessible to a wide array of readers, but invariably, my terse writing style tends to make a "Don Box book" a challenge to get through. Experience has shown me that I am horrible at writing tutorials or primers. What I can do reasonably well is convey how I see the world in book form. To that end, it is not uncommon to need to read a Don Box book more than once to get the intended benefits.

As the previous paragraph implied, this book is by no means a tutorial. If you try to learn .NET Framework programming from a standing start using this book, the results may not be pretty. For readers looking for a good tutorial on .NET programming techniques or the C# language, please read Stan Lippman'sC# Primer(Addison-Wesley, 2002) or Jeffery Richter'sApplied .NET Framework Programming(Microsoft Press, 2002) before taking on this book.

This book is divided into two volumes. Volume 1 focuses on the Common Language Runtime. Volume 2 will focus ST3on XMLWeb Services. Although the two technologies share a fair number of core concepts, the thought of covering them both in a single book made my head spin.

This book was written against Version 1 of the CLR. Some of the internal techniques used by the CLR may evolve over time and may in fact change radically. In particular, the details of virtual method dispatch are very subject to change. They are included in this book largely as an homage to COM developers wondering where the vptr went. That stated, the basic concepts that are the focus of this book are likely to remain stable for years to come.

Throughout the book, I use assertions in code to reinforce the expected state of a program. In the CLR, assertions are performed usingSystem.Diagnostics.Debug.Assert, which accepts a Boolean expression as its argument. If the expression evaluates to false, then the assertion has failed and the program will halt with a distinguished error message. For readability, all code in this book uses the short form,Debug.Assert, which assumes that theSystem.Diagnosticsnamespace prefix has been imported.

My perspective on .NET is fairly agnostic with respect to language. In my daily life, I use C# for about 50 percent of my CLR-based programming. I use C++ for about 40 percent, and I resort to ILASM for the remaining 10 percent. That stated, most programming examples in this book use C# if for no other reason than it is often the most concise syntax for representing a particular concept or technique. Although some chapters may seem language-focused, none of them really is. The vast majority of this book could have used C++, but, given the tremendous popularity of C#, I elected to use C# to make this book as accessible as possible.

This book focuses on the Common Language Runtime and is divided into 10 chapters:

  • Chapter 1—The CLR as a Better COM: This chapter frames the discussion of the CLR as a replacement for the Component Object Model (COM) by looking at the issues that faced COM developers and explaining how the CLR addresses those issues through virtualization and ubiquitous, extensible metadata.
  • Sum Chapter 2—Components: Ultimately, the CLR is a replacement for the OS and COM loaders. This chapter looks at how code is packaged and how code is loaded, both of which are done significantly differently than in the Win32 and COM worlds.
  • Chapter 3—Type Basics: Components are containers for the code and metadata that make up type definitions. This chapter focuses on the CLR's common type system (CTS), including what constitutes a type and how types relate. This is the first chapter that contains significant chunks of source code.
  • Chapter 4—Programming with Type: The CLR makes type a first-class concept in the programming model. This chapter is dedicated to the explicit use of type in CLR programs, with an emphasis on the role of metadata and runtime type information.
  • Chapter 5—Instances: The CLR programming model is based on types, objects, and values. Chapter 4 focused on type; this chapter focuses on objects and values. Specifically, this chapter outlines the difference between these two instancing models, including how values and objects differ with respect to memory management.
  • Chapter 6—Methods: All component interaction occurs through method invocation. The CLR provides a broad spectrum of techniques for making method invocation an explicit act. This chapter looks at those techniques, starting with method initialization through JIT compilation and ending with method termination via strongly typed exceptions.
  • Chapter 7—Advanced Methods: The CLR provides a rich architecture for intercepting method calls. This chapter dissects the CLR's interception facilities and its support for aspect-oriented programming. These facilities are one of the more innovative aspects of the CLR.
  • Chapter 8—Domains: The CLR uses AppDomains rather than OS processes to scope the execution of code. To that end, this chapter looks at the role of AppDomains both as a replacement for the underlying OS's process model as well as an AppDomain's interactions between the assembly resolver or loader. Readers with Java roots will find the closest analog to a Java class loader here.
  • Chapter 9—Security: One of the primary benefits of the CLR is that it provides a secure execution environment. This chapter looks at how the CLR loader supports the granting of privileges to code and how those privileges are enforced.
  • Chapter 10—CLR Externals: The first nine chapters of this book are focused on what it means to write programs to the CLR's programming model. This concluding chapter looks at how one steps outside of that programming model to deal with the world outside of the CLR.


0201734117P09272002
Summaries
Long Description
Essential .NET will enable developers to take advantage of the full power available to them in Microsoft .NET. It goes far beyond the features-based "how-to" books currently on the market to also explain the "why" behind C #, .NET, and the CLR. As with all of Don's books, it is packed with practical detail and expert advice. It promises to be the book developers will reach for first with questions about the CLR and .NET. In his new position at Microsoft Don is even better placed to evangelize for this book. He will be speaking everywhere, and will continue placing articles in MSDN, where he has already started excerpting this book. Since this book was first announced last fall, there has been a groundswell of interest in it. There will be a foreword from Jim Miller, the inventor of the CLR. Originally appeared in October 2001 catalog.
Back Cover Copy
"Don taught me stuff I didn't know about my own product! And I bet he'll teach you something, too." From the Foreword by James Miller, Lead Program Manager, Common Language Runtime, Microsoft Corporation Essential .NET, Volume 1, provides everything developers need to take full advantage of the power of Microsoft .NET. This book describes, in depth, the glue of the .NET Framework: the Common Language Runtime (CLR). Box and Sells explain the inner workings of the CLRthe rationale behind its design, the problems it solves, and the role of type in CLR programmingand show readers how to build better applications using the .NET Framework while gaining a more complete understanding of how the CLR works. The book is packed with the practical detail and expert advice only Don Box can provide. Topics covered include: CLR's evolution Assemblies in the .NET Framework The CLR type system Programming with type Objects and values Methods Explicit method invocation Application domains Security Interoperability Essential .NET, Volume 1, is an authoritative guide to the Microsoft .NET Common Language Runtime. Books in theMicrosoft .NET Development Seriesare written and reviewed by the principal authorities and pioneering developers of the Microsoft .NET technologies, including the Microsoft .NET development team and DevelopMentor. Books in the Microsoft .NET Development Series focus on the design, architecture, and implementation of the Microsoft .NET initiative to empower developers and students everywhere with the knowledge they need to thrive in the Microsoft .NET revolution. 0201734117B10042002
Back Cover Copy
"Don taught me stuff I didn't know about my own product! And I bet he'll teach you something, too." From the Foreword by James Miller, Lead Program Manager, Common Language Runtime, Microsoft Corporation Essential .NET, Volume 1, provides everything developers need to take full advantage of the power of Microsoft .NET. This book describes, in depth, the glue of the .NET Framework: the Common Language Runtime (CLR). Box and Sells explain the inner workings of the CLRthe rationale behind its design, the problems it solves, and the role of type in CLR programmingand show readers how to build better applications using the .NET Framework while gaining a more complete understanding of how the CLR works. The book is packed with the practical detail and expert advice only Don Box can provide. Topics covered include: CLR's evolution Assemblies in the .NET Framework The CLR type system Programming with type Objects and values Methods Explicit method invocation Application domains Security Interoperability Essential .NET, Volume 1, is an authoritative guide to the Microsoft .NET Common Language Runtime. Books in the Microsoft .NET Development Seriesare written and reviewed by the principal authorities and pioneering developers of the Microsoft .NET technologies, including the Microsoft .NET development team and DevelopMentor. Books in the Microsoft .NET Development Series focus on the design, architecture, and implementation of the Microsoft .NET initiative to empower developers and students everywhere with the knowledge they need to thrive in the Microsoft .NET revolution. 0201734117B10042002
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is the first book in the 'Microsoft.net Development Series' and will enable developers to take advantage of the full power available to them in Microsoft.net.
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. ix
List of Tablesp. xiii
Forewordp. xv
Prefacep. xvii
The CLR as a Better COMp. 1
COM Revisitedp. 1
The Common Language Runtimep. 6
The Evolution of the Programming Modelp. 9
Where Are We?p. 11
Componentsp. 13
Modules Definedp. 13
Assemblies Definedp. 17
Assembly Namesp. 23
Public Keys and Assembliesp. 27
The CLR Loaderp. 31
Resolving Names to Locationsp. 38
Versioning Hazardsp. 44
Where Are We?p. 48
Type Basicsp. 49
Type Fundamentalsp. 49
Types and Initializationp. 60
Types and Interfacesp. 64
Types and Base Typesp. 69
Where Are We?p. 75
Programming with Typep. 77
Types at Runtimep. 77
Programming with Metadatap. 86
Special Methodsp. 96
Metadata and Extensibilityp. 104
Where Are We?p. 112
Instancesp. 113
Objects and Values Comparedp. 113
Variables, Parameters, and Fieldsp. 119
Equivalence Versus Identityp. 124
Cloningp. 130
Boxingp. 133
Arraysp. 134
Object Life Cyclep. 143
Finalizationp. 147
Where Are We?p. 152
Methodsp. 153
Methods and JIT Compilationp. 153
Method Invocation and Typep. 158
Interfaces, Virtual Methods, and Abstract Methodsp. 166
Explicit Method Invocationp. 173
Indirect Method Invocation and Delegatesp. 179
Asynchronous Method Invocationp. 189
Method Terminationp. 199
Where Are We?p. 205
Advanced Methodsp. 207
Motivationp. 207
Messages as Method Callsp. 209
Stack and Message Transitionsp. 215
Proxiable Typesp. 221
Message Processing (Revisited)p. 229
Objects and Contextp. 236
Contexts and Interceptionp. 245
Where Are We?p. 252
Domainsp. 253
Execution Scope and the CLRp. 253
Programming with AppDomainsp. 258
AppDomain Eventsp. 262
AppDomains and the Assembly Resolverp. 267
AppDomains and Code Managementp. 272
AppDomains and Objects (Revisited)p. 276
Where Are We?p. 281
Securityp. 283
Components and Securityp. 283
Evidencep. 285
Policyp. 293
Permissionsp. 306
Enforcementp. 314
Where Are We?p. 327
CLR Externalsp. 329
Memoryp. 329
Modes of Executionp. 342
Unmanaged Modulesp. 347
Loading the CLRp. 363
The CLR as a COM Componentp. 370
Where Are We?p. 379
Glossaryp. 381
Indexp. 385
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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