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.NET Common Language Runtime Unleashed by Kevin Burton

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Chapter 3. The Common Language Runtime—Overview of the Runtime Environment

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At a high level, the CLR is simply an engine that takes in IL instructions, translates them into machine instructions, and executes them. This does not mean that the CLR is interpreting the instructions. This is just to say that the CLR forms an environment in which IL code can be executed. For this to work efficiently and portably, the execution engine must form a runtime environment that is both efficient and portable. Efficiency is key; if the code does not run quickly enough, all of the other features of the system become moot.

Portability is important because of the number of processors and devices on which ...

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