VM Query: Contexts on Stack?

Alan Kay Alan.Kay at disney.com
Fri Mar 31 01:53:58 UTC 2000

Les --

Again, for completeness, we should include Ben Dent and Glen Oliver. But
Bob Barton was the "genius"...

By the way, Ted Glaser was a concert pianist and blind from the age of 12.
He was also one of the main designers of the DEC 340 display and was Ron
Baecker's thesis advisor of GENESYS, the first thesis on computer
controlled frame animation (1969)!




At 4:37 AM -0800 3/30/00, Les Tyrrell wrote:
>Alan Kay wrote:
>> And ...
>> I should mention that the origin of the bytecode interpreters was the
>> hardware of the Burroughs B5000, first described in print in 1961.  I used
>> this as a model for the Flex machine in the late sixties, including the
>> idea of overlapping contexts (it's a direct consequence of one way to have
>> the compiler map the stack). The B5000 also had HW flag bits to distinguish
>> its typed pointers from data, the ability to call procedures on the left
>> side of an assignment statement (so many kinds of data could be simulated),
>> automatic HW process switching, addressless bytecodes, segmented swappable
>> memory structures, etc. It was designed by one of the great geniuses of our
>> field (and unfortunately not remembered today), Bob Barton.
>> Cheers,
>> Alan
>Just for kicks- I recalled reading about this in Ted Nelson's Computer Lib,
>which I just happen to have handy.  In the edition I have, on pages 40&41
>he has the subject "Some Great Computers".  But when you turn the page, at the
>top left of page 42 he has "The Very Great 5000" - a description of the
>machine, in a category of its own.
>He also mentions the designers as being Bob Barton and Edward Glaser.
>So, much belated but quite sincere- "Way to go guys!!!"

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