porting self

Dave Ungar David.Ungar at Eng.Sun.COM
Tue Aug 18 22:45:38 UTC 1992

using gcc for Self seems farfetched to me.
IN addition to GC, you would have to figure out how to support
blocks, debugging information, inline caching and who-knows-what-else.
Maybe there is a clever way that I just don't see.


> From owner-self-interest at self.stanford.edu Tue Aug 18 14:43:34 1992
> Date: Tue, 18 Aug 92 17:29:53 -0400
> To: self-interest at self.stanford.edu
> Cc: Urs.Hoelzle at Eng
> Subject: porting self
> Reply-To: moss at cs.umass.edu
> >>>>> On Tue, 18 Aug 92 13:52:53 PDT, Urs.Hoelzle at Eng.Sun.COM said:
> Urs.Hoelzle>    How about using the gcc backend?
> Urs.Hoelzle> We have considered that, but it's not as easy as it seems.  One
> Urs.Hoelzle> problem is that gcc's backend needs to be taught about garbage
> Urs.Hoelzle> collection.  Some people at UMass (Eliot Mass' group) are doing
> Urs.Hoelzle> this for Modula-3, but as far as I know it's not working yet (and
> Urs.Hoelzle> they have put a lot of effort in it).  The other problem is that
> Urs.Hoelzle> gcc might be too slow - in Self, compilation happens at run-time,
> Urs.Hoelzle> so you'd like to keep compile pauses in the millisecond area, and
> Urs.Hoelzle> I'm not sure if gcc as a traditional batch compiler is up to
> Urs.Hoelzle> that.
> Actually, it *is* working (gc support in GNU Modula-3, using gcc's back end).
> We would be thrilled if some other people tried to use this technology, though
> I would say we're probably not so far along that we're ready to release code
> to just anybody (still needs some cleanup I think). We would also be pleased
> to help someone (say a graduate student at Stanford) get our gc toolkit
> (implemented) and mature object space collector (not yet implemented) going
> with Self.
> As for the speed issue, perhaps if you kept a gcc fork around, designed to
> receive methods for compilation on standard input and to deliver the compiled
> code to standard output you could get reasonable response. Probably not as
> fast as what you have now, but perhaps good enough (especially on a
> multiprocessor?).
> Regards --						Eliot
> 		J. Eliot B. Moss, Associate Professor
> 		Department of Computer Science
> 		Lederle Graduate Research Center
> 		University of Massachusetts
> 		Amherst, MA  01003
> 		(413) 545-4206, 545-1249 (fax); Moss at cs.umass.edu

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