[self-interest] merlin (was: linux versions)

Jecel Assumpcao Jr. jecel at merlintec.com
Tue Jan 11 16:27:18 UTC 2000

Joseph Osako wrote:
> At 06:54 PM 01/10/2000 -0200, Jecel Assumpcao Jr. wrote:
> >I guess the time has come to move beyond Unix... even with neat MacOS X just
> >around the corner ;-)
> Hmmmn.... speaking of which, does anyone know how the Merlin Project is
> going? Should we consider a Self compiler that targets bare Intel platforms?

I changed the name of the system software to Self/R since the language is such
an important part of the overall environment (R for reflective). The hardware
part was still going to be called Merlin, but the name is trademarked here in
Brazil so I had to change the company name and will have to think of another
name for the hardware product (see Merlin 6 in http://www.merlintec.com).

My idea was to make a port to the bare PC hardware right after the Linux port,
but there doesn't seem to be much interest in this and I have been having lots
of problems with the sheer number of different combinations (under both Linux
and Windows) of chipsets and boards. So I am having second thoughts about this.

I haven't started coding the Linux "port" yet, but the basic plan is to write a
compiler and memory manager in Self 4.0 (on the Sparc). The compiler will
generate X86 code which will be shipped over the network to the Intel Linux
machine where it will be executed. A short paper described this in more detail:


This will probably be somewhat redundant with the work Gordon is doing. Another
thing that I was thinking: since the new ports of Self 4.1.1 (Mac and Linux
Intel) only implement the first compiler (the NIC) which doesn't generate very
good code, wouldn't it be possible to get similar results with a compiler that
generated threaded code (see the first Jitter implementation in Squeak)? This
would then be able to run on a number of different CPUs just by recompiling the
C++ sources...

-- Jecel

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