On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 1:07 PM, askoh <askoh@askoh.com> wrote:

I am not a VM guy. But, is the Smalltalk in a C World article compiling
Smalltalk to machine code to run without the VM?

He talks about the VM being a relic of the past. Is that true?

Is the Java VM a relic of the past?  Given portable devices is compiled code a relic of the past?  Is a safe development environment with fast compile times a thing of the past?  Their own conclusions imply that the answer is not yet:

"Our current approach lacks some of the advantages of Smalltalk. The most obvious of these is debugging. Our current implementation emits very sparse DWARF debugging information and so is fairly limited in terms of debugging support even in comparison to C, and therefore a long way behind the state of the art for Smalltalk circa 1980. This is currently the focus of ongoing work. Once this is done, then implementing things like thisContext making use of debug metadata become possible. In our current implementation, run-time introspection is only available for objects and variables bound to blocks, not for activation records.

Closely related is the rest of the IDE. In traditional Smalltalk implementations, the IDE is closely integrated with the execution environment. GNU Smalltalk is the major exception, and provides a model close to ours. Building a good IDE and debugger is beyond the scope of the LanguageKit project, but building these tools on top of LanguageKit is a goal of E ́toile ́."


All the best,
Aik-Siong Koh

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