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What Is an Intermediate Language?

Intermediate language is a CPU-independent instruction set code that can be used under various environments. Microsoft's implementation of this language under the .NET framework is known as Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL). All Common Language Runtime (CLR) compliant language compilers translate the source code written in different languages into MSIL; it's the responsibility of the CLR to process these instructions and act accordingly. (In fact, it's the responsibility of various just-in-time compilers to covert the code to machine-specific code.)

For further information on IL, please read my article IL "The language of CLR" - A Platform for Cross-Language.

Constituents of an Intermediate Language

Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) typically constitutes the instructions for the following:

  • Arithmetic and logical operations

  • Control flow

  • Exception handling

  • Direct memory access

  • Loading, storing, initializing, and calling methods of an object

  • Other operations

System Requirements

To use ILASM (Intermediate Language Assembler) under the .NET framework you need the following software:

To use ILASM under non–Microsoft environments you can go to the following locations to download the software:

  • Mono: Open Source implementation of the .NET Development Framework.

  • Sergey has released his first version of the ILASM assembler written in C#. You can get it from his web page.

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