[Newbies] Is Squeak/Pharo an appropriate language choice?
leves at elte.hu
Thu Oct 31 18:40:15 UTC 2013
On Thu, 31 Oct 2013, Charles Hixson wrote:
> I'm contemplating a project that would benefit greatly by a persistent memory
> image, though I'll eventually (in a year or so) need the 64-bit image, but:
> The image will be a lot larger than RAM. It would include a directed graph
The current garbage collector is not suitable for large images. GC delays
become noticable when the image grows over a few hundred MBs. Eliot is
working on a better one, but we don't know how it performans until it's
I don't see how your image could be a lot larger than RAM. It's
technically possible, but it's pretty likely that it would be too slow to
> that had an index of a million or so entries, and most nodes wouldn't be
> indexed. So in order to even load it would need to use some sort of lazy
> access. And I'm not even sure that a Dictionary of over a million items is
> reasonable. (Naturally none of the examples address this problem.)
The perfomance of Dictionary mainly depends on the implementation of
#hash and #= of the objects you want to store in it.
> Additionally, all of my (written) documentation is so old that it doesn't
> even discuss multi-processor systems, so I don't know whether modern
> Smalltalks make any use of additional available processors.
Squeak/Pharo don't support them from a single image. There are
experimental VMs designed for multi-processor systems (RoarVM, HydraVM),
but AFAIK none of them is ready for production use.
> I'd really like some advice, and possibly some references. I know that
> Smalltalk has the reputation for being slow (yes, I've been reading about the
> recent speed-ups), but much of what I'd need to write in any other language
> seems like it may already be present in Smalltalk, so if it would work, I'd
> like to choose it. But I won't be able to test this until the application
> has been running for quite awhile, so I would be very desirable that I know
> ahead of time.
It's hard to tell more without knowing more details about the project.
P.S.: you might want to check out GemStone/S
> Charles Hixson
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