Saturday, November 5, 2011

The .NET Virtual Machine: Common Language Runtime

The CLR is the .NET virtual machine. It handles the compiling, loading, and execution of a C# application. The compiling process employs a JIT approach that translates the CIL into machine code as required. In addition to a traditional runtime system, it also provides debugging and profiling functionalities. The CLR implements the CTS, which defines types and data. Moreover, C# applications contain a complete description of their types, called metadata, providing code visibility to other applications or tools. With this metadata, the CLR uses reflection in order to resolve library references, link components, and resolve types at runtime. The garbage collector is a subsystem of the CLR that cleans up memory that is no longer needed. It frees developers of the tedious and error-prone responsibility of recovering (deleting or deallocating) memory space allocated during object creation.


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