[virtmach] Comments on Sun's JAVA VM Specification?

btanksley@hifn.com btanksley@hifn.com
Mon, 26 Jun 2000 17:31:12 -0700

From: Peter_Murray@allegiance.com.au

>Since the people on this list have a wide range of experience 
>with various
>VMs, I was wondering if anyone has coments on Sun's Java VM 
>specification? What do you think are the good and the bad points?

Hmm...  On the bright side, it's commonly-used and reasonably well-specified
(you can download a formal specification from
http://www.eecs.umich.edu/gasm/).  On the other hand, its low-level
architecture (bytecode) doesn't make very much sense given its high-level
architecture (a huge runtime library).  The problem is that while bytecodes
make it easy to run the code using a simple simulator (making it possible to
run Java on a small platform), the runtime library takes enough space to
make it a lot harder.

The JavaRing kind of demonstrates how small you can get with it -- and
you'll no doubt see some of the problems with it as well.

I rather prefer OTA for small systems, and SlimBinaries for large ones.

But anyhow, Java's here to stay; there are some great auxillary standards
which go along with it, such as EJB.

>- Peter.