[squeak-dev] Which VM for OSX

John M McIntosh johnmci at smalltalkconsulting.com
Thu Dec 11 06:41:45 UTC 2008

Ok, well first thanks to the people who responded, but allow me to  
detail the differences via the view from 10,000 meters.
BTW the detailed document is at http://isqueak.org/PlatformVMAPI

(a) The blue icon one is built by Ian which is the X11 or Quartz/Obj-C  
based one using the unix code base.

Unicode support has been slow in coming, but I believe the current  
version has worked out all the bugs? Since I
don't depend on unicode for keyboard entry I'll let others comment.

It also is quite happy to run headless.  Lastly because of the way the  
interpreter versus the UI runs you cannot use FFI
to talk to Quicktime, it will crash.  Which means you couldn't use it  
to run Sophie on the macintosh for example.
But if you don't use FFI to talk to operating system UI elements then  
this is not a problem.

(b) The gold icon one is built by me and is based on the original code  
from apple (well if any is actually left).

It has a higher build frequency since Apple tends to mess with small  
details (and large) thruout their 1000
odd operating systems revisions over the last 8 years.   It is I think  
quite unicode aware, and lately become
more happy to run headless.

Most likely it will be replaced by a 32/64bit obj-c VM based on the  
iPhone port when OS-X 10.6 ships.

(c) The gold icon one for the iPhone is an completely new (99%) Obj-C  
host API code base, with a few lines of code
from the unix port (date/time), and with the reuse of the Unix BSD  
socket stuff, why replace that...

Which is better? Well you should benchmark both bytecode/send rates  
and drawing to understand which
is better. I *think* the bytecode/send rates should be the same, but  
someone should check. As for the
drawing the execution paths are quite different, you'd again need to  

As for stability I think both are the same?

I do note if anyone has a crash report they should email me so I can  
determine what code is at fault.

On 10-Dec-08, at 12:40 PM, Sophie (itsme213) wrote:

> There seem to be more than 1 VM available for OSX/intel. Do they have
> different features? Which one should I use? I would like one that is  
> stable,
> fast, and osx-feature-rich ... strictly in that order :-)
> Thanks!

John M. McIntosh <johnmci at smalltalkconsulting.com>
Corporate Smalltalk Consulting Ltd.  http://www.smalltalkconsulting.com

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