[Vm-dev] [OpenSmalltalk/opensmalltalk-vm] WASM Compile Target? (#387)

Clément Béra bera.clement at gmail.com
Tue Apr 30 16:30:47 UTC 2019

Do you want good performance?
Do you want to use the ManagedObject layer provided by WASM or
OpenSmalltalk-VM own GC? The latter would require to keep a shadow stack
since the WASM stack cannot be walked easily for GC.
Do you want to JIT to WASM or just an interpreter?

My main concern is that implementing high level languages on top of WASM is
just starting to be possible in a nice way, and I think we should wait for
other people to struggle and to re-negotiate some APIs with the WASM people
before trying. Each WASM API change have to be validated by multiple people
from different companies after being prototyped, so it can take time.

Depending on what you want it may not be 10M$, but if you want a solid
high-performance low-memory-footprint runtime and you don't want to wait
multiple years for other people to struggle implementing other languages
first, that would be a fair initial investment.

On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 9:36 PM Eric Gade <notifications at github.com> wrote:

> Hello all! As some of you might be aware, there has been a lot of progress
> in the web-world in developing WebAssembly <https://webassembly.org/>.
> Many environments and languages can now compile to the wasm binary format.
> Projects are doing things like putting full Python interpreters and
> environments in the browser <https://github.com/iodide-project/pyodide>,
> etc. There is even a nascent movement to come up with a consistent system
> interface standard
> <https://hacks.mozilla.org/2019/03/standardizing-wasi-a-webassembly-system-interface/>
> for WebAssembly, allowing developers to run wasm code on any platform --
> not just the web.
> My question is this: what would it take to get the opensmalltalk-vm to
> compile to WebAssembly and has anyone involved with it considered the
> option so far?
> There would be a great many advantages to running a Smalltalk in the
> browser this way.
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Clément Béra
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