Machine-Code Reflection (RFC)

Mahler Thomas
Tue, 06 Jun 2000 09:47:17 +0200

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Hi all,

There has been an interesting approach in the Symbolics Lisp machines:

All High-level code was compiled to a certain microcode. This microcode
was interpreted by the "real" hardware, but compilers etc. only had to
know the microcode instruction set.
The microcode was loaded at boottime and was freely adjustable.

It was a common practice to have special microcode for Lisp- and a
different microcode for Prolog-based Applications.

I don't know if there were any code-morphing techniques (i.e. runtime
optimization or JIT compilation) used.

I also don't remember if the microcode could be (reflectively) modified
at runtime.


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