What is cross language support?
Cross language support is the ability provided by the common language runtime (CLR) and common language specification (CLS) of the .NET Framework for interacting with code in another programming language.
Cross Language Support is a language interoperability feature with advantages such as reusing types defined in other languages; a single environment for debugging and profiling due to the use of Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL); and consistent exception handling, where exceptions thrown in one language can be caught in another language. Thus, it serves as a tool for code reuse and efficient development processing.
The implementation of cross-language support in .NET is similar to that of Java. In the case of .NET, the CLR converts the code generated in the intermediate language (similar to Java bytecode) into machine-specific code. Thus, the CLR forms a common platform for cross-language development that includes cross-language inheritance, cross-language debugging, and cross-language exception handling.
The increase in the variety of tools and technologies made the demand for linguistic interoperability necessary. .NET is designed to address the problems involved in using component object model components, and the type of client must be considered before designing its interfaces. For script clients, the interface methods must have automation-compatible parameters that are not required for C ++ clients. With the help of the Common Type System (CTS), value and reference types can be defined in any language and used from any other language. In addition, the elimination of the DLL helped with problems in COM and the introduction of side-by-side component deployment in the .NET framework solved the multiple component deployment problem.
Managed code that meets the CLS specifications is said to be CLS Compliant. This helps the objects, which are coded in different languages, to communicate with each other. However, .NET does not restrict the components to only using the functions defined in the CTS that cannot be used from other languages. By setting the value of the CLS Compliant attribute on an assembly, the assembly can be CLS Compliant and warn the compiler to issue warnings when non-CLS compliant data types are used in public and protected methods.
CTS also plays an important role in runtime support for cross-language integration by defining the set of rules for the language to be followed and providing type safety, high performance code execution, etc., as well as a wide variety of types used in a wide variety of languages.
The .NET consumer and the .NET extender tool are two types of tools that are helpful when working with components and that provide cross-language support.