Chapter 3. .NET Programming

Now that you know what .NET is all about, let’s talk about programming for the .NET environment. This chapter presents the common programming model that .NET provides, the core languages and features that .NET supports, and language integration—how you can take advantage of object-oriented features even across different languages that target the CLR.

Common Programming Model

Without the .NET Framework, programmers must choose from a wealth of APIs or libraries that support system services. For example, if you want to write GUI applications on Windows, you have a slew of options from which to choose, including the Win32 API, MFC, ATL, VB, and so on. Once you’ve chosen the library, you have to learn how to use the structures, classes, functions, interfaces, and so forth that the library provides. Unfortunately, this knowledge doesn’t transfer directly into a different environment. For instance, there’s a big difference between the code to manage IO in MFC and the code to manage IO in VB.

One of the goals of the .NET Framework is to bring commonality to application development by providing a framework of common classes to developers who are using compilers that generate IL. This set of classes, known as the Base Class Library (BCL), is extremely helpful: if you know how to take advantage of IO functionality in .NET using your favorite language, you can easily port that code to another language. This is possible because the namespaces, classes, methods, and ...

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