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Targets and Distribution Formats (was: Re: So, what the heck is a continuation anyway?)


On Monday, December 10, 2001, at 08:59 , S. Alexander Jacobson wrote:

> On Mon, 10 Dec 2001, Dan Sugalski wrote:
>> Still, the tack I'm taking with the engine is to make as much as 
>> reasonable
>> part of the core. Yeah it violates the "small, simple, and elegant"
>> principle, but that's OK with me. :)
>> [snip]
> So why not just translate/compile python/perl to scheme?
> It seems like Scheme already has all the features you want.
> Then you just work with the scheme people to optimize it to execute
> python/perl.
> [snip]

While I am not an expert on it, I would think that GCC also has all 
the things that would be needed to run Python or Perl. So do a lot 
of other languages/compilers/infrastructures, e.g. FLINT/MLRISC if 
I am not mistaken. In the extreme case, everything could also 
compile to something like MIPS and we would use binary translation 
to get portability. :-)

I would guess that "rolling my own VM" like Dan does is mostly a 
matter of convenience: He can tailor "his" VM to what kinds of 
languages he "expects" it to run. Of course, as all the "weird" 
things running on the JVM show, those "expectations" might not be 
what will actually happen.

Generally I would question the whole VM idea, but that is not 
surprising since I am at UCI where all we do all day is JIT-compile 
compressed ASTs. :-) Seriously, have the "Parrot People" ever given 
thought to going away from a VM design? Sorry, didn't attend the 
workshop, so I have to ask now.

Peter H. Froehlich @ http://www.ics.uci.edu/~pfroehli/