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Down to the Metal: Managed Code Under the Hood (Part I) : Page 4

No matter which high-level languages you use to create .NET applications, they all compile to Intermediate Language (IL). In this series, you’ll dig down inside the .NET framework and find out how IL works. Learn to write IL directly to create .NET assemblies without the need for a high-level language or sophisticated IDEs.


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Isn't Something Missing?
If you are a C# programmer, or using any other pure object oriented language you may have noticed that there is no class directive in this sample. IL doesn't need a class. It can be used like a procedural programming language. For example, although C# enforces object-oriented programming (requiring a class), VB.NET programmers don't need to create a class explicitly with a Main method as the entry point. Those restrictions are rules set by each high level language. The important point to remember is that ILAsm just needs a method that specifies the entry point. In this article you've learned the basics about the structure of the Common Language Infrastructure and the layout of a simple Intermediate Language Assembler code. You will still need more information to find your way through the jungle of IL code. Just take a look at the resource section of this article or check out the next parts of the ILAsm article series.

In addition to the online resources listed in the left column of this article, you may find these print resources useful as well. Books

Electronic Documents
  • Tool Developers Guide Subdirectory of your SDK Installation. See the two files Partition I Architecture.doc, and Partition III CIL.doc.


Peter Koen, a Microsoft MVP, is an independent consultant, author, and programmer. He also gives lectures at a private university in Austria on Knowledge Management. He is a certified MCP, MCAD, MCSD.NET, MCDBA, and MCT, as well as the Allied Telesyn Certifications for CAI, CASE, and IAT. Peter is the founder of the the SQL Server User group in Austria.
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