Larkware News has the following rant:
Unification Policy - Alan Shi explains one of the fine points of the CLR's binding policy. I fear I've reached the same point with this stuff that I did with Godel, Escher, Bach: I understand it right after I read it, but my brain can no longer hold on to it. I think .NET has replaced DLL Hell with a binding policy so complex that it might as well be a purely random selection of which DLL to load, for all that an average developer understands what's going on. It is not at all clear to me that this is an improvement so much as just a different set of problems. Or perhaps my brain is just too puny to work at Microsoft.
First, let me state up front that I've not looked at the binding policy in .NET - I will say that the referenced explanatory page is hard to digest. This is not a problem limited to the CLR though - we are in the process of trying to address these issues in Cincom Smalltalk, and it's not a simple set of problems. We are hoping to have the beginnings of an answer out with VW 7.3 (fall 2004)