April, 2003

  • cbrumme's WebLog

    ReleaseComObject

    • 14 Comments
    Developers who are accustomed to the IDisposable pattern or to C#’s ‘using’ syntax sometimes ask why COM Interop doesn’t support IDisposable on every Runtime Callable Wrapper (RCW). That way, managed code could indicate that it is finished using the...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Lifetime, GC.KeepAlive, handle recycling

    • 19 Comments
    It’s not possible to state exactly when a managed object will be collected. The garbage collector schedules itself based on various heuristics. Even if a garbage collection occurs, it may only collect the younger generations of the heap. And the JIT...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Size of a managed object

    • 11 Comments
    We don't expose the managed size of objects because we want to reserve the ability to change the way we lay these things out. For example, on some systems we might align and pack differently. For this to happen, you need to specify tdAutoLayout for...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    What is SEHException?

    • 3 Comments
    One way you get this exception is if unmanaged code does an OS RaiseException() or causes a fault. If that exception is propagated up the stack to managed code, we will try to map it to a managed exception. For example, STATUS_NO_MEMORY maps to OutOfMemoryException...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Interning Strings and immutability

    • 22 Comments
    Managed strings are subject to ‘interning’. This is the process where the system notices that the same string is used in several places, so it can fold all the references to the same unique instance. Interning happens two ways in the CLR. ...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Error C0020001

    • 5 Comments
    #define BOOTUP_EXCEPTION_COMPLUS 0xC0020001 You may see an exception with this code, or an HRESULT of this value, when trying to call into managed code. This can happen if you call in before the runtime has finished initializing, or after the ...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Managed blocking

    • 9 Comments
    What’s the difference between WaitHandle.WaitOne/WaitAny/WaitAll and just PInvoke’ing to WaitForSingleObject or WaitForMultipleObjects directly? Plenty. There are several reasons why we prefer you to use managed blocking through WaitHandle or ...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Threads, fibers, stacks and address space

    • 15 Comments
    Every so often, someone tries to navigate from a managed System.Threading.Thread object to the corresponding ThreadId used by the operating system. System.Diagnostic.ProcessThread exposes the Windows notion of threads. In other words, the OS threads...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Initializing code

    • 5 Comments
    A common question is how to initialize code before it is called. In the unmanaged world, this is done with a DLL_PROCESS_ATTACH notification to your DllMain routine. Managed C++ can actually use this same technique. However, it has all the usual...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Inheriting from MarshalByRefObject

    • 8 Comments
    Developers often wonder why they are forced to derive from MarshalByRefObject or EnterpriseServices.ServicedComponent. It would be so much more convenient if they could add a CustomAttribute to their class or use a marker interface to declare that...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Turning off the garbage collector

    • 7 Comments
    It is not generally possible to turn off garbage collection. However, the garbage collector won’t run unless “provoked.” Garbage collection is triggered by: 1) Allocation 2) Explicit calls by the application to System.GC.Collect 3) Explicit...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Managed objects and COM

    • 10 Comments
    All managed objects other than those derived from ServicedComponent, when exposed to COM, behave as if they have aggregated the free threaded marshaler (FTM). In other words, they can be called on any thread without any cross-apartment marshaling...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Static Fields

    • 4 Comments
    By default, static fields are scoped to AppDomains. In other words, each AppDomain gets its own copy of all the static fields for the types that are loaded into that AppDomain. This is independent of whether the code was loaded as domain-neutral or...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Unhandled exceptions

    • 11 Comments
    There are two kinds of threads executing inside managed code: the ones we start in managed code and the ones that wander into the CLR. The ones that started in managed code include all calls to Thread.Start(), the managed threadpool threads, and...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Virtual and non-virtual

    • 3 Comments
    The CLR type system supports both virtual and non-virtual instance methods. And IL can contain both CALLVIRT and CALL instructions. So it makes sense that IL generators would call virtual methods using CALLVIRT and call non-virtual instance methods...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    DLL exports

    • 1 Comments
    People often ask how they can expose traditional DLL exports from managed assemblies. Managed C++ makes it very easy to export functions. And you could use tricks like ILDASM / ILASM to inject DLL exports into managed assemblies built with other...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Hyper threading

    • 5 Comments
    If the operating system schedules multiple threads against a hyper-threaded CPU, the CLR automatically takes advantage of this. This is certainly the case for new versions of the OS like Windows Server 2003. Also, the CLR did work to properly...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Why don't metaobjects marshal by reference?

    • 4 Comments
    Objects that derive from MarshalByRefObject will marshal by reference rather than value. Metaobjects like Assembly, Type and MethodInfo do not derive from MarshalByRefObject. This is because we don’t want Type to be marshal by ref, which implies...
  • cbrumme's WebLog

    Surprising 'protected' behavior

    • 4 Comments
    There’s a subtle but important difference between protected access in unmanaged C++ and protected access (i.e. family) in the CLR. The difference is due to the CLR’s ability to build security guarantees on top of type safety. Imagine you had a...
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