[squeak-dev] Fwd: Chrome and V8

Ron Welch Ronald.P.Welch at BAESYSTEMS.com
Tue Sep 2 19:55:05 UTC 2008

The source code is available at: http://code.google.com/p/v8/

On 9/2/08 3:23 PM, "John M McIntosh" <johnmci at smalltalkconsulting.com>

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Dave Griswold <David.Griswold.256 at gmail.com>
> Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 12:14:32 -0700 (PDT)
> Subject: Chrome and V8
> To: Strongtalk-general <strongtalk-general at googlegroups.com>
> Hi everyone, 
> It's been a while, but now that Google has announced Chrome and V8, I
> can finally make a little clearer a major reason why I haven't been
> pushing Strongtalk development for quite a while: Chrome's new
> JavaScript engine V8.
> The V8 development team has multiple members of the original
> Animorphic team; it is headed by Lars Bak, who was the technical lead
> for both Strongtalk and the HotSpot Java VM (as well as a huge
> contributor to the original Self VM).   I think that you will find
> that V8 has a lot of the creamy goodness of the Strongtalk and Self
> VMs, with many big architectural improvements:
> * open source 
> * will run (eventually) on Windows, Linux, and Mac
> * dynamically JITs to native code
> * can run completely independently from the browser
> * generates hidden classes behind the scenes, since javascript doesn't
> have them (very reminiscent of the 'maps' used in the Self VM).
> * is multi-threaded from the ground up, with the ability to share VM
> overhead between different OS processes.
> * has even smaller object headers than in Strongtalk, making small
> object overhead even smaller
> * kick-ass compacting, non-conservative garbage collector
> The really big deal here is the fundamentally multi-threaded, multi-
> process nature of the VM.  That is something that we don't really have
> the ability to just hack into the Strongtalk VM; it would involve
> practically an entire rewrite.  Plus, expect a lot of architectural
> improvements in the source code based on experience with Self,
> Strongtalk and Java Hotspot VMs.
> I think these properties will rapidly make V8 the dominant VM for
> dynamic languages.  It ought to make a great platform for Smalltalk.
> Since I am not a Googler, and they are so secretive, I am not yet
> privy to all the gory details, but I suspect that it probably won't
> use type-feedback like Strongtalk, which would be the one big negative
> (and would mean that it wouldn't be as fast as Strongtalk).  However I
> don't know that for sure, and in any case it will be open source,
> which means that it might be a nice platform to add type-feedback-
> based inlining to if they don't do it.  At any rate, it *does* JIT to
> native code, so it will be far faster than Squeak, and probably a lot
> faster than Visualworks as well.
> We'll have to see what the details are when the code comes out, but
> the release of the V8 VM is the beginning of a whole new era for
> dynamic languages (Smalltalk, Ruby, Python, etc).
> Let the flood of fast new dynamic language implementations begin!
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mailto:Ronald.P.Welch at BAESYSTEMS.com                Phone:(607)770-3701
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