OFF: object file format !

Francois-Rene Rideau rideau@clipper
Sat, 5 Nov 94 4:10:13 MET

We do need some portable object file format.
When I say object, I mean any system object, not just executable
binary code for some CPU.

Why do we need it ? To encode objects when sent through a network.
Network in my view also comprises linking two hosts with floppy transfers,
or with a common file system. So, an object file format is a way (the only one)
to have hosts communicate or archive objects (=communicating to self, later),
or have them persistent.

What do we need in an object file ?
Actually, we need the same as for the whole memory system: a way to reinject
the object into memory while keeping it garbage-collection aware. Basically,
an object file is a compressed version of memory.
We also need some means to have multiple versions of objects; but this is a
corrollary of the previous:
we may allow any annotations to objects, particularly those code objects,
and a generic system to choose the "best" equivalent.
So after having implemented that, we're done, and we don't even have to
implement some special treatment for the LLL or some asm language:
just propose several versions of your code in several languages, and have the
generic choser work according to target choice and proposed versions.