Runtime invariance (was: Re: What is a kernel?)

Francois-Rene Rideau
Wed, 18 Aug 1999 00:34:36 +0200

> It can't, but it is my belief that a kernel isn't necessary.

> I have been formulating techniques
> (someone may well have beaten me to this punch, I really need to do
> some in-depth searching on this)
> for turning loosely-coupled, dynamically loaded code
> into a, well, a temporary monolith, through the idea of runtime invariance.
This kind of technique has already been used, albeit in a semi-manual way,
in some OS kernels by Sun, thanks to external expertise:
it consists in doing partial-evaluation at run-time,
a technique whose leaders are the Compose team at
(unhappily, people unconvinced of the necessity of free software).

Unlike what you propose, the run-time partial-evaluation they do
is based on explicit manually-specified patterns, instead of introspection.
Very special cases of dynamic optimization based on (stubborn) introspection
exist in SELF to dynamically optimize method dispatch for the most used cases.

I agree that the kind of things you describe
(i.e. dynamic metaprogramming of the system based on introspection)
is what we'd ultimately expect from TUNES.


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