The VM Goals

John Wood
Tue, 6 May 97 00:34:28 UT

Just to publicize my ideas...

>> In a general VM it would be necessary to re-implement
those LISP constructs, and LISP structures (stack frames, dynamic
binding, etc), on the top of the VM, thus not optimizing as much as a
LISP-dedicated VM. <<

As I said, the optimisation *would* have to be built on top of the base VM, 
but this optimisation would be offered natively and so would not suffer and 
degradation in efficiency.  Effectively, the VM would be a foundation for 
optimisations for every language, and extended through a controlled manner 
(ie. the extensions would have to be reviewed before being published, and its 
implementation would have to be offered in terms of the base VM if not offered 
natively to satisfy its declaration of being platform neutral).

>> And I think that's much more demanding to build a generic VM than a 
LISP-dedicated one. <<

The same work would have to be done, with the added work of writing the base 
VM - which I feel is a worthwhile project in the sense that (a) the LISP 
implementation would provide a good marketing vehicle for the underlying VM 
and (b) the underlying VM would be flexible enough to support the LISP VM in a 
future of massively diverse requirements.