[squeak-dev] Resources for writing a to-spec Smalltalk VM

ArooBaito aroobaitoart at gmail.com
Sat Jun 5 21:49:58 UTC 2021


Recently I've been reading about a lot of the cool projects people have
done, such as writing VMs to run the old Smalltalk images like Smalltalk 78
and Smalltalk 80, and I was looking to do something similar myself.

Specifically I'm really impressed with the Caffeine project as well as
Vanessa's SqueakJS that was used as a base, and I wanted to replicate
SqueakJS on a much smaller scale for learning purposes. I'm aiming just to
re-create Vanessa's 0.1 version of the project that ran the stripped down

I'm pretty familiar with writing VMs/bytecode interpreters having written a
couple before, such as one on top of the Godot game engine and a compiler in
Pharo that compiles to the bytecode for it, but I was hoping to find more
Smalltalk-specific resources.

So far I've collected the Goldberg/Robinson "Smalltalk-80: The Language and
its Implementation", the ANSI Smalltalk spec, and Vanessa's git commits for
the month she wrote version 0.1.

My twin brother is writing a Javascript VM for a subset of Common Lisp in
the same fashion, and he's got a couple more "hand-hold-y" books on the
subject. That'd be nice to have, but I don't think anything like that exists
for Smalltalk, and I don't really need everything handed to me anyway I

Are there any other resources that you guys would recommend?

Thanks in advance!

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