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The Common Language Infrastructure Annotated Standard

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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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