[Self-interest] future of the Self VM

David Ungar ungar at mac.com
Mon Aug 2 01:10:21 UTC 2021

Excellent question!

> On Aug 1, 2021, at 6:08 PM, Slava Pestov <sviatoslavpestov at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 31, 2021 at 10:42 PM Jecel Assumpcao Jr <jecel at merlintec.com> wrote:
>> I would mention that a very significant reason Self never became popular
>> was that it didn't run on machines people had (a problem shared with
>> nearly all the Unix clones that came before Linux). This was why many
>> people wrote their own Self variations or Self inspired languages in the
>> early days. I actually bought a Sun Ultra 5 machine in 1998 (the most
>> money I have spent in my life so far) so I could continue to use Self
>> after I moved away from the University. Just a few years later with Self
>> running on PowerPC Macs and later x86 Macs and Linux machines people
>> could finally try Self. Sadly, they didn't because of the silly idea
>> that only things coming out right now are worth looking into. With
>> everybody moving to x86-64 and now also Apple ARM we are back where we
>> started! So how do we fix this?
> This anecdote makes me wonder. Since a modern machine is so much
> faster than a Sun Ultra 5, would it make sense to consider a simpler
> implementation strategy for Self, such as a bytecode interpreter?
> Would it be possible to make it fast enough for the UI to be
> responsive, on modern hardware?
> Slava
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