Requiem or Resurgence?

Michael Latta lattam at
Thu May 11 20:28:23 UTC 2006

>From the paper it is actually quite new and interesting.

1) Where Squeak is statically translated from Slang to C to binary, The VM
will use dynamic compilation at run-time to translate the VM and the user
code in the same address space/image.  This of course needs a bootstrap that
can persist the dynamic compilation results for enough of the system to
allow it to run on its own.
2) This will allow parts of the VM to be dynamically inlined into the code
generated for user code.
3) As part of the work they are working with 2 images so that the tools run
in one image while the system under development runs in another image.  This
allows a lighter execution environment without "stripping" the image.  It is
not clear if they intend this to be the long-term use or only during

The goal is to have the full language available for the VM to use while
allowing global optimization on user and VM code.  If they pull it off they
should get significant performance value out of the effort.

I did not realize it was such a small team however.  That certainly reduces
the odds of success, or lengthens the development time.  On the other hand
small teams in Smalltalk/Self can get a lot more done than large teams in C
or Java.

The paper suggests that they are targeting PPC OS/X machines, which are of
course obsolete.  It will be interesting to see if they choose to support
x86 or remain on the existing hardware they have.  One of the downsides of
research work is that it does not always care about applicability of the
artifacts, only the concepts generated from the work.


-----Original Message-----
From: squeak-dev-bounces at
[mailto:squeak-dev-bounces at] On Behalf Of Craig
Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2006 12:50 PM
To: squeak-dev at
Subject: re: Requiem or Resurgence?

	Stef writes:

 > Do not dream guys. Sun just let David doing that but he is alone with
 > two students.

	Very true. And what's new there? Leaving aside the relative merits
Self per se, what are they doing that the Squeak team didn't do ten 
years ago?


Craig Latta
improvisational musical informaticist
Smalltalkers do: [:it | All with: Class, (And love: it)]

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