Universal Virtual Machine and Smalltalk

Michael Korns mkorns@ix.netcom.com
Mon, 19 May 1997 14:07:46 -0700


Yes, I got Ravi's email. Hopefully he has already received my reply with
the address of the LispVM group.

We've been looking at all sorts of alternatives. Of course, we are not
trying to replace Java or Smalltalk. We are trying to provide Agent
Communication Languages (ACL's), for execution inside our agent oriented
database server, which are flavors of Java, Smalltalk, etc. We started with
a flavor of Lisp, as you already know.

The above design requirements imply that any AgentBase implementation of
Java and/or Smalltalk would have to be modified/extended to support
agent-oriented computing and to support database server activities in
general. Graphics and other non-database server support could be dropped
from the database server implementations of Java and Smalltalk. 

Of course, neither Java nor Smalltalk should be descriminated against.
Database server Agents written in Java or Smalltalk should have equal
priviledges and capabilities of database server agents written in Lisp.
This would include migration priviledges. Database server agents, written
in Java or Smalltalk, should be able to migrate from one AgentBase server
(across the Web) to another AgentBase server and function properly in the
new location. Finally, the AgentBase server implementations of Java or
Smalltalk should interface smoothly with current general programming
implementations of these languages so that Smalltalk and Java programmers
will discover that writing clients for AgentBase is a rewarding experience.

Our current thinking is tending toward a VM for each Agent. As you know,
AgentBase agents are cute little things which carry there own genomes and
self descriptions with them as they are distributed from one database
server to another. It would be relatively simple to add genetic information
about the Agent's VM, and JIT compiler to the current AgentBase agent
structure. This would play well with Java and Smalltalk, because both these
languages have their own well developed VM's. 

I am about to look at another approach to VM's known as Juice
http://www.ics.uci.edu/~juice/? . I'll call you tomorrow and we'll talk
some more about Smalltalk.

> From: Ted K. <tedk@wdi.disney.com>
> To: Michael Korns <mkorns@ix.netcom.com>
> Subject: UVM info?
> Date: Monday, May 19, 1997 11:10 AM
> Michael,
> 	We have a nibble of interest in the Universal Virtual Machine from my
friend Ravi: