#956 – The Common Language Infrastructure (CLI)

The Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) is a definition for the environment in which managed applications run.

The CLI is both language- and platform-neutral:

  • You can write a CLI-compliant application in a number of different languages
    • E.g. C#, Visual Basic .NET, F#
  • You can execute a CLI-compliant applicaton on any platform where an implementation of the CLI is running
    • E.g. Windows (Common Language Runtime), OS X (Mono)

Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime (CLR) is an implementation of the CLI that runs on Windows.  Mono is an implementation of the CLI that runs on several platforms, including Android, Linux and OS X.

The CLI includes:

  • Common Type System (CTS) – defines of a set of types and rules associated with those types
  • Common Language Specification (CLS) – defines a subset of the CTS that allows modules written in different languages to interoperate
  • Virtual Execution System (VES) – a runtime environment that enforces the CTS

About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.

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