Squeak and Java (was Request For Help : CompilerPlugin)

Sean Charles scharles at nildram.co.uk
Wed Apr 10 08:23:57 UTC 2002

> Speaking about compilers and the like, I was wondering if Squeak
> would benefit from being run on a Java VM?

I thought this some time ago but actually considered that it would be cool
to run Java under Squeak by translating JVM bytecodes to ST-80. If anybody
is interested I have a CS somewhere of some work I did to actually read in
Java class files and parse them out. I was playing with the idea of using
Squeak to design Java GUI's on the fly and actually add and remove controls
dynamically to a canvas.  Alas, it all proved too much effort so I packed it
in. Doesn't VW ObjectStudio do something like that?

Anybody tried BISTRO?, now THAT is GOOD! But when you can use the real thing
why play with imitations? At the end of the day I prefer to live in a
typeless world. A typesafe world is, with hindsight, soooooooo much work.
What I like about Java is only half the typing of C/C++ i.e. no header files
(why type it twice for god's sake>), Smalltalk is even 'better' because now
I don't even have to import anything or flesh out a class body. I think the
*real* benefit of Smalltalk, IMHO, is that you really do spend time on the
solution, not on the language. I have never found another language that is
as concise and yet as readable and comprehensible as ST. Sometimes it's
better than English because of the lack of ambiguities and so on.

    | job | "All jobs are temporary!"
          ifTrue: [ self applySunBlock;
                         getChilled ]
          ifFalse:[ self driveVWBusToBeach;
                         getChilled ].
          job quit.
          self explore. "Name me ANY language that allows such

Of course, I could have made that better with a subroutine...

Another good tool I've played with is called BATJAC, a Smalltalk like IDE
for Java. I can't remember the URL offhand but a google for same will get
you there. That shows great promise but it's *still* Java!

Stroll On!

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard A. O'Keefe <ok at cs.otago.ac.nz>
To: <squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2002 1:22 AM
Subject: RE: [Q][VM][ENH][RFH][COMP] Request For Help : CompilerPlugin

> Karl Goiser <kgoiser at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
> Speaking about compilers and the like, I was wondering if Squeak
> would benefit from being run on a Java VM?
> No.  The JVM is very explicitly designed for a language which is
> not "Objects all the way down".  That is, it relies heavily on numbers
> _not_ being objects.  Lisp and Scheme people have noticed the same
> problem.
> The positives I can see are that they are already installed on heaps
> of machines,
> From what I've gathered in this list, Squeak is already on more.
> they have JIT's and the like, it allows people to
> concentrate on other areas of interest.  I am sure there are a lot
> more...
> Note that there is already a Smalltalk-on-JVM for those who want it.
> The negatives are: if you don't have a JVM for your platform, you're
> out of luck and we wouldn't be able to fiddle with the VM.  Also, is
> there some heresy here?
> There's a non-sequitur there.  Intel have an Open Source JVM
> (http://www.intel.com/research/mrl/orp); it should not be impossible to
> adapt that to other architectures, and then we'd have a JVM we could
> with.
> The only thing we'd gain is (SOMETIMES) a JIT, but it is far from clear
> that the speedup would compensate for the slowdown due to the
> mismatch.
> The really obvious thing is that Squeakers are ALREADY "concentrat[ing]
> on other areas of interest"; you don't find thousands beavering away on
> the Squeak Jitter.

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