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The Common Language Infrastructure Annotated Standard

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321154934
ISBN-10: 0321154932
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Common Language Infrastructure Annotated Standard is the definitive guide to understanding the annotated specification for the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) standard. With annotations and code samples from both the ECMA standards committee and the Microsoft Common Language Runtime (CLR) team, this book goes beyond the online documentation to clarify and amplify the original standard and describe its implementation.

The core of this book is the international CLI standard. The text describes the CLI and its parts and provides all the information needed to implement a Virtual Execution System (VES) or design a compiler that runs on top of a VES and generates portable code. Author Jim Miller draws upon his experience as editor of the CLI standard and lead of the Microsoft CLR team to guide readers through the CLI blueprint and to a complete understanding of the CLR.

Features of this book include:

  • A heavily annotated architectural overview of the standard
  • A description of the semantics of metadata
  • A complete specification of the Portable Executable (PE) file format
  • Coverage of file format and metadata layout
  • An overview of the CLI libraries
  • A detailed description of the Common Intermediate Language (CIL) instruction set
  • Sample programs and other annexes to the standard
  • An enhanced online index that allows readers to quickly and easily search the entire text for specific topics

The Common Language Infrastructure Annotated Standard is the single source programmers, language and tool designers, and library and VES developers need to render the CLI and the CLR fully comprehensible.


About the Author

James S. Miller serves as software architect of the Microsoft team that developed the CLR and as the editor of the ECMA and ISO Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) Standards. Prior to joining Microsoft he was part of the World Wide Web Consortium’s senior management team and served on the research staffs of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Artificial Intelligence Lab, the MIT Lab for Computer Science, Digital Equipment Corporation, and the Open Software Foundation. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science from MIT and has been a member of the Brandeis University faculty.

Susann Ragsdale was the original documentation manager for the CLR team, and currently is a consulting technical writer. Before the CLR, she was a lead writer for COM (Microsoft’s Component Object Model). This followed a long and diverse career in consulting on multiprocessor supercomputers, simulation systems, test systems, and integrated circuits.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (November 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321154932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321154934
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,349,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By William G. Ryan VINE VOICE on February 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Well, you know it's a winner b/c it's in Addison Wesley's Microsoft .Net Development series. Like their Hejlsberg title, this is pure reference. However, there's a lot to it (almost 900 pages in total) and EVERYTHING in the CLS is covered here. It's very technical, and definitely not a cover to cover read, but there are many good examples and if you need a quick reference for any topic in the Framework, this book is a must have.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
.NET, unlike Java, is an implementation of an ECMA and a ISO standard.
This book, from the Microsoft employees that created .NET and with input from members of the standards bodies, annotates the standard with comments that provide insights into the reasoning behind the standard. If you are in one of these categories, you should seriously consider buying this book:
1. advanced .NET developers
2. language designers
3. tool designers
4. those interested in understanding virtual machines
5. developers of libraries
6. Java developer (wondering what a standard looks like, just kidding. As an intermediate-advanced Java developer, the book is very interesting though.)
7. developer who wants insight into current software architecture
Otherwise, the book is still a useful guide to help you grow as a developer if you even browse it sporadically, and unlike many programming books, it will not be obsolete in a year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Damon Carr on November 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is not just a reference guide (although it is a very good one). It is also (due to the annotations, often funny) that give you insight into the 'why' behind thing like naming, design decisions, things that were internally debated that we would not normally know about, and in general you come away feeling like you were there creating .NET. I find it required reading and often use it as a reference. 5 stars. An amazing read.

Kind Regards,
Damon Carr
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
When Microsoft released its .NET platform, it attempted, and is attempting, something quite audacious. It is putting forth a programming environment whereby you could combine modules written in different languages, without recompiling, let alone rewriting.
Arguably, Microsoft set itself a harder task than did Sun with java. Along this road, as the book describes, a standard arose - the Common Language Infrastructure. It describes a Virtual Execution System and what type of executable code can use it. So a version of Pascal, say, that wanted to run on a VES would need to pass the compilation rules of a Pascal compiler that adhered to CLI.
An analogy might help. In some rough way, you might consider CLI + VES to be like a java virtual machine, and the choice of a language to use atop CLI to be like running java under its jvm. Granted, this is crude, but many readers are probably unfamiliar with CLI, whilst having more acquaintance with java.
Warning. The book may be heavy sledding for most. The main audience is compiler writers and language developers. Daresay that even experienced developers may not usually deal with a language at this level.
A slight irony is that CLI is meant to decouple programmers from any specific platform, which is why Microsoft pushed it over to a standards body. But the most developed instantiation currently appears to be .NET, which is inextricably interwoved with Microsoft's operating systems.
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