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Shared Source CLI Essentials by Ted Neward, Geoff Shilling, David Stutz

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Appendix A. A Quick Tour of Rotor

Expanding the Rotor tarball reveals a bewildering collection of scripts, license files, specifications, and subdirectories full of mysterious source code. The prospective Rotor enthusiast may wonder where best to begin poking around. This appendix provides a “view from the top,” and will help you find your way around.

There are four interesting “districts” in the Rotor code:

  • The CLI runtime execution engine

  • Programming frameworks that expose the services of this execution engine

  • Compilers and other tools that target the execution engine

  • A platform adaptation layer (PAL), its tests, and related build utilities

These four areas are spread across the source tree. As with any large software project, both history and build dependencies have conspired to make navigation less than perfect. However, the documentation will help: whether you want to learn about, tinker with, or experiment with Rotor’s infrastructure, you are likely to find that the files in the docs directory are a valuable first stop (along with the file named readfirst.html found in the root of the distribution).

Execution engine (the clr/src directory and environs)

Conceptually, the execution engine is the heart and soul of the CLI runtime, and as such, it contains a large quantity of fascinating code. Compilers and tools that target this engine, including the C# and JScript compilers that come as a part of Rotor, create and manipulate executable files that contain metadata tables, resource ...

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