MOOSE project -- looking for a language
Alistair G. Crooks
Tue, 25 Oct 1994 07:43:46 -0700 (PDT)
> As I'm sick of computing systems I know, and saw no end to them, I've
> decided to write my own, on my 386 PC to begin with, but in a portable way
> (have an implementation over *yuck* POSIX ?).
> I'm still looking for the High-level language to use, which must be able to
> integrate all the features described below. Can somebody help me ?
> I'm considering BETA, SELF, Icon, or something like that. Else I'll have to
> design my own (as a self-extended typechecking FORTH-like thing ?) :( :(; but
> as our moderator say, the world is not ready for yet another language, so if
> I can skip the language design phase, I'd be very happy.
My initial reaction is to say, "Take a look at Sather" - I'll come back
to this later.
> The project is called MOOSE, and I'm writing it alone. It means
> Multi-* Object-oriented Operating System and Environment. *I* didn't choose
> the name as I wasn't alone at that time.
> It's a project for an OS that will change you from Un*x and
> sub-clones like MS-DOG:
> - of course multi* (tasking/threading/user)
> This implies a language not centered toward global variables (no "C"), with
> an ability to understand concurrency (with current-continuations ?).
> - persistence, thus garbage collection, security, type-checking
> (thus again no "C") that means no *need* of file system (but still support
> them to communicate with other OSes.
> That also means *need* for a language that supports secure type-checking and
> orthogonal persistence.
> - machine-independent low-level (stack-based/FORTH-like ?) language for
> portable binaries, with common interpreter or compiler back-end.
> This implies nothing for the HLL.
> - partial lazy evaluation and optimization for ideal dynamic performance
> This implies a HLL with lazy evaluation semantics.
You seem to be looking for a functional language here - either that,
or I've got my terminology muddled up. Have you had a look at Haskell,
or, more practically, Gofer?
> - no-kernel (not even micro- or nano-) architecture. Everything is
> decentralized in modules (even the module loaders). The only thing needed
> is a boot module. Modules communicate through conventional protocols (which
> may change by replacing all concerned modules).
> This implies the existence of a good module system for the HLL (unlike
> the C header file bullsh*t).
I like this idea - like a group of co-operating objects, sending
messages to each other.
> - system specifications open for a distributed version where objects migrate
> or are copied on the fly from host to host to achieve best performance
> (but security required more than ever).
> If the language is truely high-level, this shouldn't affect it.
> - Author authentification to retribute authors, or give them (dis)credit.
> It would be *very* useful if the language allowed arbitrary annotation of
> objects, which may mean things about object equality semantics (if
> association tables are to be built).
> - dynamic typing high-level (some may say "object-oriented") language as
> a standard interactive development tool -- no *need* for a shell and a
> bunch of stubborn languages that cope with each other's flaws. All systems
> specification are done in such a language. The language should have natural
> extensions that allow program specification and proof, and do secure
> That's the language I'm looking for.
You don't want much, do you? :-)
> I'm also considering joining Mike Prince's PIOS project, or the FIRE project.
> If there's another project (personal/university/commercial) that includes all
> (or a big part) of those features, please tell me. If you see any reason why
> it shouldn't be possible or wishable, or that it does not go for enough, or
> that it goes in the wrong direction, please tell me too. I *think* I am
> open-minded enough to hear it.
I too am considering PIOS, and would like to hear of any feedback you
get concerning your project.
Please keep me informed.
Alistair G. Crooks (email@example.com) +44 125 234 6377
Amdahl European HQ, Dogmersfield Park, Hartley Wintney, Hants RG27 8TE, UK.
[These are only my opinions, and certainly not those of Amdahl Corporation]