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C# Language Pocket Reference by Ted Neward, Ben Albahari, Peter Drayton

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Framework Class Library Overview

Almost all the capabilities of the .NET Framework are exposed via a set of managed types known as the Framework Class Library (FCL). Because these types are CLS compliant, they are accessible from almost any .NET language. FCL types are grouped logically by namespace and are exported from a set of assemblies that are part of the .NET platform. Using these types in a C# application requires you to reference the appropriate assembly when compiling (most essential assemblies are referenced by default; see Section1.23 later in this book). For you to work effectively in C# on the .NET platform, it is important to understand the general capabilities in the predefined class library.

In this section, we give an overview of the entire FCL (broken down by logical area) and provide references to relevant types and namespaces so that you can explore their details in the .NET Framework SDK on your own.

The specific types and namespaces mentioned in this overview are based on the final released version of the .NET Framework.

Useful tools for exploring the FCL include the .NET Framework SDK documentation, the Visual Studio .NET documentation, the WinCV.exe class browser, and the ILDasm.exe disassembler.

Core Types

The core types are contained in the System namespace. This namespace is the heart of the FCL and contains classes, interfaces, and attributes on which all other types depend. The root of the FCL is the type Object , from which all other .NET types ...

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