[self-interest] Re: How does the Self VM work?

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at lsi.usp.br
Wed Oct 21 03:54:36 UTC 1998

Douglas ,

Since you have already read a lot of the Self papers as well as at least one of the thesis about the Self compilers, I am assuming you want a more detailed explanation of the C++ code and not a generic explanation about adaptive compilation, right?

At least some of the people who actually wrote this code are on this list, as they can certainly give a much better answer than I can as I have only looked briefly at the VM sources (I mostly use the Unix commands grep and find to search for what I need and just look at that).

In the virtual machine directory, there is a "doc" subdirectory. The file vmUseDoc (in various formats) mostly explains how to invoke make to generate a new VM, but it also has a one line comment about each of the source subdirectories. The file stackFormat is very short but really helps to understand what is going on. And the file vm-debugging.doc (how did a Word file get here!?!) has tips on tracking down bugs in the VM, but it also clears up a few points about how it works.

If you could be more specific about what you would like to know, I'll be glad to look up the answer (that's what grep is for :-)

-- Jecel
P.S.: this list is currently set up so that the Reply-To: field is set to the author, not to the list. It is easy for me to change this, but I don't know what people prefer. The way it is now, you can "reply" to send a private comment or "reply to all" to send to the list (and an extra copy to the author). If I change it then "reply" will send to the list (what you want most of the time) but there is no way to send a private reply to the author without manually editing the To: field in the composition window.

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