On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM, Colin Putney <colin@wiresong.com> wrote:

On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM, Eliot Miranda <eliot.miranda@gmail.com> wrote:

> Right now I'm redesigning the bytecode set to lift limits on branch distances, number of literals, and number of inst vars.  So a small increment.

I suppose that Newspeak is different from Smalltalk in terms of the
size and complexity of methods that it encourages. It could be that
the existing limits are blocking the development of Newspeak, and
obviously legacy code is much less of an issue for Newspeak than

Not newspeak.  But within Cadence we have internal customers that are hitting limits we must lift.

But… isn't that an odd cost/benefit mismatch? It would seem that
switching instruction sets isn't easy, even given VM support. Are
there no other changes that could/should be made at the same time?  Is
this something we could imagine doing more than once in the near

I had reason to add support for two bytecode sets to the VM recently so all the support at the VM level is there to do incremental development of the new bytecode set.  i'm writing the image-level support (you'll perhaps have noticed the fag to select the bytecode set added to trunk recently).  I can imagine having multiple bytecode sets being very useful and something one does quite often.  Claus Gittinger's Smalltalk/X has support for four bytecode sets and can execute Java bytecode natively.  With the current header format I've only been able to shoe-horn in a single one.

Making lots of changes at one time is a way of increasing the risk of failure.