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donjonson

what is .NET?

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.net is a lot of things, but from a programmers point of view it will let you create functions in one language and call them from another, make multi platform software and has a useful class library (similar to STL).

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.NET is a framework.
Quote:
...the .NET initiative (is) the convergence of several distinct but loosely tied goals, the most important of which are overcoming the limitations of the COM programming model and finding a common programming paradigm for Internet-related applications. Francesco Balena


That is probably oversimplifying it a bit. It is a layered framework. To illustrate:

From the top down

1-VB.NET, C++, C#, JScript...(other languages that will work with the framework)
2-Common Language Specifications (CLS) (this is what MS says is the minimum number of features a new language must have)
3-ASP.NET, Windows forms (these contain all the classes that form the user interface)
4-Data and XML (classes that work with databases and XML also things like ADO.NET)
5-Base Class Library (BCL) (defines all basic data types. i.e. numeric, array, string, and the root of the .NET objects System.Object)
6-Common Language Runtime (handles things like memory management, multi-threading, etc.)
7-(Note: This level is not truely considered part of the .NET framework) Windows API and COM+ Services (you should know what this stuff is I hope)

Note: Most of this information was taken from Francesco Balena.

Now a few other things about .NET: The languages are not compiled languages (into native) such as ones not in the framework. They are compiled as the program runs. They are compiled into Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL or IL). This also means that a program written in .NET can easily be reverse engeneered (as far as I know of).

Well sorry but I gotta run, hope that helped some. Try looking on MSDN or doing a google search or best yet, go to Borders or Barnes and Nobel and sit there drink some coffee and read a book on it.

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