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From "Matthew French" <matt...@camary.co.za>
Subject Re: Java
Date Wed, 11 May 2005 08:46:28 GMT
Steve Blackburn said:
> I would like advocate the use of Java in implementing the VM (*).
> This may seem a low-level issue, but I'm raising it now because it
> will have significant implications for the VM core and the overall
> approach this project takes.

While I agree with the sentiments, I am not sure that this is pragmatic.
In fact, right now all I can see are the obstacles. Not that it cannot be
done, but it seems to me to be the hard way to do it. The only way I can
see it working is if we spend a lot of effort building a cross platform
Java to assembly compiler.

HOWEVER: If we go for the modular design, I see no reason why it will not
be possible to implement a VM running under Java. A VM for Mono/.Net would
also be an excellent idea. I see the concept as similar to User Mode
Linux, or VMWare.

Steve Blackburn said later in a different mail:
> ...Getting the framework right after the fact is an enormous task.
>
> The fundamental architecture of the VM is what makes or breaks it.

I couldn't agree more. I spend far too much time fixing projects where the
problem was the original architecture. What attracted me to this project
was the "greenfield" possibilities and the opportunity to get it right.

We don't need to spend years debating the architecture, or get it perfect
the first time, but I think it is important that we at least have an idea
of where we want to go.

> The "just get it out the door" approach has its merits for some
> projects

It worked for many of the existing VM's. But I want Harmony to be
something different. The more I look at the problem, the more I get the
feeling that Harmony should the "home" for all the other free Java
implementations. Making up for what they lack, and enhancing what they do
best.

I also get the sense that a VM is not that hard to implement - certainly a
basic VM should be waaay simpler than gcc or OpenOffice. :) The hard part
is getting everything together and getting it to work in concert. While
meeting all the requirements.

To beat the drum to death: architecture, architecture, architecture.

Hopefully I can put a proposal together this evening[1]...

- Matthew

[1] Damn you, Graham. :)



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