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[DotGNU]Portable.NET 0.2.4 and pnetlib 0.0.8 released

From: Rhys Weatherley
Subject: [DotGNU]Portable.NET 0.2.4 and pnetlib 0.0.8 released
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2001 13:12:06 +1000

Portable.NET 0.2.4 and pnetlib 0.0.8 have been released:

Web Page:

The major changes in this release are to the runtime engine.  The
engine can now run some fairly significant example programs, as long
as they don't use exceptions, delegates, or tail calls.  The Fibonacci
example, which is slightly more complex than "Hello World", runs now:

 ../engine/ilrun fib.exe

And yes, there is a bug in the code.  Integers are printed as "42.00"
instead of "42".  This will be fixed shortly.

I have also integrated the Hans-Boehm garbage collector, which is used
by gcc and other projects.  This is a very stable system that has been
ported to many platforms, and solves many of the nasty problems of
garbage collection in a C environment.

Library imports are working in the compiler, which can now do a full
compile and link of C# applications.  Although, because many of the
expression and statement types are still busted in the compiler, it
isn't quite usable just yet.  The C# compiler still can't compile
"pnetlib", unfortunately.  So, don't get your hopes up.

Other changes are detailed in the appended NEWS entries.  I've been
very busy during the last two weeks.



Portable.NET 0.2.4 (17 November 2001)

Runtime engine:

* Verifiable method pointers.
* Add the Hans-Boehm garbage collector to the code, and link
  it into the engine as the new object memory allocator.
* Support for interface method layout and calling in the engine.
* Alternative call API that passes arguments in structures rather
  than in vararg parameters.
* Internalcall methods for "System.Threading".
* Fix branch and label code in the CVM coder.
* Type lookup routines, to complement class and method lookups.
* Pass command-line parameters down to the "Main" method.
* Lay out static fields after the main class has been laid out,
  to resolve layout circularity problems.
* Internalcall methods for "System.CompilerServices".
* Handle "this" parameters for value type methods properly.
* Dump method entry and exit when CVM "dump mode" is enabled.
* Dump the stack contents when CVM "dump mode" is enabled.
* Minor fixes to "box", "switch", "dup", and "pop" instructions.
* Move the engine string API's into "lib_string.c" so that they
  can be implemented more efficiently.
* Implement string intern'ing.
* More internalcall methods for "System.String".
* Experiment with increasing the speed of the engine by
  post-processing gcc's output to optimise it better.

C# Compiler:

* Overflow testing for constant casts.
* Load library images so that external definitions can be resolved.
* Improve method overloading to handle multiple candidates better.
* Make sure that the "System" namespace is always included by default.
* Disable the builtin library if the external "mscorlib" was loaded.
* Proper handling of "params" and non-"params" parameter expansion.
* Modify method and type output code so that definitions are
  properly qualified with their assembly.
* Invoke the linker to link the final executable.


* Dump a readable version of attribute values in the disassembler.
* Dump the text version of the XML within security blobs.
* Try to print the assembly name rather than the module name
  when dumping class names, because the assembly name is a
  truer representation of where the class came from.


* Clean up the code to remove all references to the obsolete
  "ILValue" and "ILValueType" types.
* Add some more functions to "support" to improve engine portability.
* Better detection of the default alignment on the system.
* Make "ILNativeInt" and "ILNativeUInt" the same size as native
  pointers, to be consistent with ECMA requirements.
* Implement the "csant" build utility program.
* Fix the parsing and writing of array shapes in "image".
* Don't report "runtime" methods as native in "ilnative", because
  they are normally used for delegates which aren't strictly native
  in the same sense as PInvoke and internalcall methods are.
* Modify the Fibonacci example program so that it is compiled all
  the way down to an executable with the C# compiler.
* Fix the handling of "vararg" call site signatures.
* Add "ILCmdLineExpand", which can expand references to response
  files in the specified command-line.  This allows the compiler
  tools to process very large command-lines.

pnetlib 0.0.8 (17 November 2001)

* New classes in "System.Resources", "System.Threading",
  "System.Runtime.CompilerServices", and
* Bug fixes in "DateTime".
* New comparison functions in "String".
* Uncomment the "Write" methods in "System.IO.TextWriter" because
  we have the requisite support methods now.
* Use "CompilerServices.MethodImplAttribute" instead of the one
  in "InteropServices", to be consistent with the ECMA specification.
* Remove some obsolete classes.
* Convert the "native.txt" file into HTML and add some more information.

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