Mario mario at
Sat Dec 10 19:26:45 UTC 2011

At the risk of further confusing the issue, another possibility would be to build a Self front end and runtime support for the Maxine VM. 

Maxine is now getting its third generation compiler, known as Graal, which so far is delivering spectacular performance given its approachability and youth. Plus we are actively pursuing the implementation of other, dynamic languages within Maxine/Graal. Assuming we succeed, the maintenance burden for Self would be reduced to just the Self-specific parts of the VM, and those would be written in Java, and could be developed in an IDE (eg Eclipse) and debugged using the Maxine inspector. I believe this is the state of the art for VM development environments.

I don't want to understate the effort ... we have not yet completed even a detailed outline of a Maxine implementation of a dynamic language ... But we are eager to go down this path and would love to have others working on complementary approaches.

To repeat what James said, there are several theses waiting to be written in this area, and much fun to had. I believe this approach could deliver a Self implementation that considerably outperforms the current one (because the compiler implements many more optimizations). 


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