[Vm-dev] Re: [ANN] 7061 = Squeak 3.9 final

Alan Grimes agrimes at speakeasy.net
Mon Sep 25 22:28:12 UTC 2006

Adrian Lienhard wrote:

> On Sep 25, 2006, at 21:11 , Brad Fuller wrote:

>> Brad Fuller wrote:
>>> tim Rowledge wrote:

>>> Wouldn't the VM Crash, that I and others reported, be a reason not to
>>> release until fixed? Mantis issue# 0005056

>>> brad
>> No comment on my question?

> I think, the current VM issues would be a good reason to pospone the
> release.

> Unfortunately, as it seems to me, the VM is quite poorly maintained.
> Probably the main reason being that the maintainers don't have enough
> time (or, in other words, because they are not paid to fix the
> problems). Another difficulty is that there are only few people that
> actually work on the VM (why?).

Here are my excuses:

1. Linux on my system currently has a major major bug that causes my
machine to be unusable for all but the most trivial tasks. linux blows

2. The current Slang > C compiler is very hackish and behaves in very
counterintuitive ways, especially with regards to the VM.

3. It is very difficult to understand how the Slang compiler interacts
with the system compiler so it would be very very difficult for anyone
except the most elite Squeak programmer to work on it. -- One gripe I
have with the current (recient?) system compiler is that it doesn't
provide information about the scope of a variable (method context versus
block context)

4. Because of how the current compiler works, it is impossible to get a
working VM that isn't inlined and therefore doing normal code
coverage/profiling becomes many times more difficult.

5. Mere mortals don't have access to the current version. Any hacker
trying to get the "development" version can't (or at least couldn't last
time I checked). You COULD develop based off of what's on the website or
try to get the SVN source working (VERY HARD/IMPOSSIBLE -- used to be
very reliable), but then you'd have to completely re-do your changes
when you finally get a chance to sync with the mainline version. =(

If you tell a linux advocate that you saw Bigfoot, he'd believe you.
If you tell him that you saw linux crash, he won't.

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