When was .NET announced? Bill Gates delivered a keynote at Forum 2000, held June 22, 2000, outlining the .NET ‘vision’. The July 2000 PDC had a number of sessions on .NET technology, and delegates were given CDs containing a pre-release version of the .NET framework/SDK and Visual Studio.NET.
When was the first version of .NET released? The final version of the 1.0 SDK and runtime was made publicly available around 6pm PST on 15-Jan-2002. At the same time, the final version of Visual Studio.NET was made available to MSDN subscribers.
What platforms does the .NET Framework run on? The runtime supports Windows XP, Windows 2000, NT4 SP6a and Windows ME/98. Windows 95 is not supported. Some parts of the framework do not work on all platforms – for example, ASP.NET is only supported on Windows XP and Windows 2000. Windows 98/ME cannot be used for development. IIS is not supported on Windows XP Home Edition, and so cannot be used to host ASP.NET. However, the ASP.NET Web Matrix web server does run on XP Home. The Mono project is attempting to implement the .NET framework on Linux.
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.
What is the CTS? CTS = Common Type System. This is the range of types that the .NET runtime understands, and therefore that .NET applications can use. However note that not all .NET languages will support all the types in the CTS. The CTS is a superset of the CLS.
What is the CLS? CLS = Common Language Specification. This is a subset of the CTS which all .NET languages are expected to support. The idea is that any program which uses CLS-compliant types can interoperate with any .NET program written in any language. In theory this allows very tight interop between different .NET languages – for example allowing a C# class to inherit from a VB class.
What is IL? IL = Intermediate Language. Also known as MSIL (Microsoft Intermediate Language) or CIL (Common Intermediate Language). All .NET source code (of any language) is compiled to IL. The IL is then converted to machine code at the point where the software is installed, or at run-time by a Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler.
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 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 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 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 directory. 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
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 126.96.36.199 would be considered incompatible with version 188.8.131.52. 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.