Is the JVM low level?

Paul Prescod
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 13:30:32 -0400

People are talking as if the JVM is a "low level" VM. I don't see that.
What assembly languages do you know of that presume garbage collection?
What assembly language has an "invoke method" primitive? The JVM is
actually pretty high level, in my opinion. I would say that it is
sufficiently "low level" that it is not tied to a particular language as
a VM that just ran "Lisp code" would be (although the JVM is obviously
optimized for Java). GNU has a free JVM implementation and we can
optimize it for Lisp. This running code will serve as an example to the
researchers at IBM and the standardizers at ISO or ANSI. It will also
serve as a portable JVM in the case that we can't get our extensions
widely adopted.

 Paul Prescod