by Brian Jepson
I've got to get out of the house more. I had been working under the delusion that all the good stories about .NET are only available in the digital world. But sitting here in the Cranston, Rhode Island Borders Bookstore cafe flipping through the April issue of Linux Magazine, what do I see but a really interesting article on .NET that I can't find online.
Mark Mitchell's article, GCC.NET, covers the technical details of how you could enhance GCC to emit .NET IL. IL is roughly equivalent to Java's bytecode, although .NET does not execute instructions in a virtual machine (all IL is compiled to native code by a just-in-time compiler). Although it is listed in the online table of contents the article itself does not appear to be available online.
(updated: the article recently became available online)
This issue also has an interview with Dick Hardt of ActiveState in which the conversation turns to speculation about .NET on Linux.
Speaking of .NET on Linux, I recently took a look at Portable .NET, a project to develop an open source runtime and C# compiler for .NET. This implementation, unlike Microsoft's implementation of .NET, relies on a virtual machine. It looks pretty nice - they have some working code (an implementation of ILDASM) as well as quite of bit of code that's a work-in-progress. What's more, the overall vision and design seems quite sound to me.