[Vm-dev] Proposal: get rid of primitive numbers

Andreas Raab andreas.raab at gmx.de
Sat Mar 10 17:56:06 UTC 2012

On 3/10/2012 12:08, Igor Stasenko wrote:
> I am get annoyed by these numbers..
> why, living in our amazingly powerful smalltalk world, in order to see
> what the primitive does,
> i should first lookup the selector in #initializePrimitiveTable method?
> Is it so hard for compiler to lookup the prim by its symbolic name ,
> why i forced to do that manually all the time?
> Just out of curiosity, can anyone say (without looking into image), what
> <primitive: 135>  does?
> And now, same question, what
> <primitive: #primitiveMillisecondClock>
> does?
> Never ending fight: meaningful names vs meaningless numbers

Easy: Just do the same thing the compiler does with messages that it has 
specialized bytecodes for. I.e., add a class var to the compiler 
containing names and indicees for indexed prims and make it so that the 
compiler knows that it can replace primitiveFoo with prim index 123. Do 
the opposite in the decompiler and voila! you're done. Shouldn't take 
more than a day to do that, really.

   - Andreas

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