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Programming Microsoft® Visual C#® 2005: The Language by Donis Marshall

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Chapter 10. Metadata and Reflection

Metadata, which is often described as data about data, formalizes the composition of an assembly. Metadata is the actualization of the state of an assembly. As a reflection of an assembly, metadata includes all information pertaining to the assembly, including a detailed description of each type, the attributes of the assembly, and other particulars of the assembly itself. Metadata is similar to a type library in COM, except that metadata is always persisted in the application that it describes. For this reason, assemblies are often referred to as self-describing. Because metadata is indigenous to the assembly, metadata cannot be lost, and versioning ...

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