[etoys-dev] Parrot? (Introductions)

Yoshiki Ohshima yoshiki at vpri.org
Sun Jul 12 02:03:29 EDT 2009


  Sorry for replying to an introduction email but...

At Fri, 10 Jul 2009 11:34:33 -0700,
Edward Cherlin wrote:
> o I am also talking with Allison Randal, head of the Parrot project,
> about various projects. She told me that she would love to have a
> Squeak for Parrot. (Right now, they only have their toy language
> Squaak. No relation. ^_^). This means compiling the Smalltalk VM for
> Parrot. But that means getting a C compiler to generate Parrot
> assembler. I don't know how far along that project is.

  Hmm... Why not compile Smalltalk to Parrot bytecode?

  But, however, the real strength of Squeak for us has been that the
same program runs pixel-identically on various platforms; so that a
developer who doesn't want to deal with Linux or Sugar can have
reasonable assumptions of his program when developing on other

  This is because Squeak VM provides all graphics and user input and
socket and etc (in addition to garbage collection, concurrency, a meta
system).  (Yeah, a virtual machine should be a machine just happens to
be a virtual one; so not just instruction emulation, it should provide
such things).

  Parrot doesn't offer such abstraction, as far as I can tell.  If we
are to provide a such layer, we need to write platform specific
implementations for these features (as Squeak VM does) and that would
mean that we need to re-do whole a lot of work just to be at the same

  If this was about implementing the Squeak VM on Flash, that would
have made more sense.

> After we have a functioning version, we should investigate whether any
> Smalltalk VM features can be replaced by or integrated with Parrot
> features. Parrot provides garbage collection, concurrency, hooks for
> an object class system, and an assortment of other high-level
> features, and is intended to allow dynamic languages to run unchanged
> on more than 200 hardware/OS combinations.

  Wow.  Is there the list of these 200 combinations?  I'd be happy to
be surprised, but I have a feeling that Squeak VM has a bigger list...

-- Yoshiki

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