[self-interest] Re: The Effort on Self

Jay Osako scholr at slip.net
Thu Nov 18 16:26:46 UTC 1999

gordon cichon <gordo- at cichon.de> wrote: 
original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/self-interest/?start=435
> On Thu, 18 Nov 1999, [ISO-8859-1] José Baltasar García
Perez-Schofield wrote:
> > 	In my opinion, a minoritary language like Self should be developed
> > in a platform like Java VM. I am not a Java fan, but it provides a
> > machine in a variety of platforms, and also a "standard" graphical
> > environment. This would allow to get Self expansioned, I think.
> > 	Maybe, this is a bad idea because it would run too slowly, and
> > would become unusable (UI is now pretty slow, even in a UltraSparc).
> BTW, we once conducted a poll about what platform is the most
> to have Self running on. I can't recall the results right now, I
> think Windows and Linux have been rated most important, and Java
> was third place. (Please correct me if I'm wrong).

Has anyone suggested anything similar to the Slim Binaries used in
Oberon? These are, essentially, an intermediate parse tree, which can
be passed between platforms until actually used, at which point a code
generator builds the actual application in native code (much like the
JIT, but without the bytecode layer; it would cache this generated code
for future use). This has a number of advantages:

1) The parse tree is usually more compact than the bytecode equivalent.
2) It is language independent (sort of).
3) It allows greater optimization, as all of the high-level structure
accessible to the code generator.
4) All validation can be performed during the initial compilation,
making the Just-In-Time part faster.
5) It would still leave the possibility of a JVM implementation; in
fact, it would be considerably easier, as much of the work of compiling
is aleady done.
6) It would make rewriting the entire Self environment in Self a
practical option, provided there was an existing code generator on the
initial development platform.

OTOH, SB itself is not an 'open' technology, so we would probably have
to create our own equivalent (its copyrighted, but I don't think it is
patented, I'd have to check). Also, the claim that it is language
independent is rather questionable, at least in the existing system;
like the JVM, it is definitely targetted towards imperative/OO hybrid
languages, AFAICT.

Any comments?

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