Keith Poole keith.poole at
Thu Mar 15 06:39:19 PDT 2007


I've read the Alan Kay article and it does sound very similar to the 
current Tunes idea - their idea of 'bootstrapping' into an operating 
system sounds like a plan.

How about:

1) Design & write a virtual machine in some suitable language (c, c++, 
Java, Python?), which will run on a current operating system
2) Write a Javascript compiler on top of that (in Javascript)
3) Write a native code generator to convert VM code to machine code
4) Use this compiler to re-write the VM
5) Write the low-level stuff to allow the VM to run on the metal
6) World domination
n) Write Python/Ruby/other languages as required - this should make 
their libraries callable from *all* of the other languages (mostly - 
apart from a few special cases which will need the wrapper functions)

Sounds easy doesn't it?


Tom Novelli wrote:
> You've got the point... I'll just elaborate on it...
> Javascript has some nice attributes besides being popular:
> - Functional-OO paradigm, with first-class functions
> - Simplicity - little syntatic sugar & backward-compatibility baggage
> - ECMA standards
> - A static typing extension (for efficient native code generation)
> With static typing (and a little hacking) you could output machine 
> code to a byte array... so you could write a JS compiler, VM, 
> low-level drivers & bootloader -- all in Javascript.
> Hopefully this VM would support other popular languages (efficiently), 
> and there'd be a cross-language library.  Now, I like Python because 
> it comes with 250 *high-quality* modules... in other languages I'd be 
> using lots of 3rd-party add-ons, pulling my hair out in frustration 
> over bugs and dependency problems.  In theory, the other languages 
> could use Python's library, using some wrapper functions where 
> necessary to fit the other languages' stylistic differences.  This is 
> my idea of "Language Integration".
> Going further, we would expect "Language Unification", where everyone 
> gradually agrees on stylistic conventions and semantics, until the 
> different languages finally merge.  (I don't expect ONE language in 
> the end, but at least the _arbitrary_ differences ought to disappear)
> I'd do this Javascript OS as a quick demo and worry about 
> cross-language issues later.  I just need a static-typing JS compiler...
> As for Ian Piumarta, I was thinking of his "COLA" project (now renamed 
> "Albert").  It's still pretty rough, but it includes the beginnings of 
> Javascript and Python compilers (in idst/examples/jolt/)
> And here's some background info... I did not realize Ian was working 
> with Alan Kay, nor have I read anything about VPRI... Sounds like a 
> group with similar aims to ours.
> - Tom
> P.S. - I'm giving Gmail chat a try... I'm awake from about 1200-0300 
> GMT (weekends are best)

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