[squeak-dev] Re: Alien vs. FFI benchmarks (Re: Trying to load ALienOpenGL into 4.1 alpha...)

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Thu Mar 25 19:05:05 UTC 2010

On 25.03.2010, at 19:38, Vassili Bykov wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:05 AM, Andreas Raab <andreas.raab at gmx.de> wrote:
>> The philosophical point is about how a system like Squeak should integrate
>> into the external environment. My opinion is that the VM should provide a
>> safe cross-platform abstraction layer. As a consequence, I am in favor of
>> plugins that provide abstractions, have a well-defined interface, and are
>> safe however you use them. The only real sin I've ever committed in this
>> regard was OpenGL because the interface is so big and the handling of
>> extensions tricky otherwise.
>> Gilad's opinion (and I hope I'm not misrepresenting him here since this an
>> extrapolation from discussions with Eliot) as far as I understand it is that
>> the VM should be basically invisible - just the execution machinery and for
>> the rest you go straight to the OS and do everything there.
> And it's not only Gilad's opinion. The issue is not even _how_ to
> integrate into the external environment, it's _whether_ to integrate
> into it. You have to speak another language to integrate into another
> culture. Systems relying on VM primitives with safe abstractions
> choose to be tourists, and are bound to remain so.
> --Vassili

Right - that's the way Squeak chose a long time ago. Run bit-identically everywhere, using the smallest possible interface to the host and do the rest on its own. 

>> Plus, most people have no clue what they're talking about when it comes to
>> plugins vs. FFI vs. Alien and just repeat what someone else said. Sad, but
>> true.
>> Cheers,
>>  - Andreas

Plus, Alien is newer, so must be better.

- Bert -

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