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The inevitable death of VMs: a progress report

Kell, Stephen (2018) The inevitable death of VMs: a progress report. In: Conference Companion of the 2nd International Conference on Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming. ACM-ICPS International Conference Proceeding Series . ACM, New York, USA, pp. 61-62. ISBN 978-1-4503-5513-1. (doi:10.1145/3191697.3191728) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:69709)

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Language virtual machines (VMs), as implementation artifacts, are characterised by hard boundaries which limit their conduciveness to language interoperability, whole-system tooling, and other interactions with the `world outside'. Since the VM paradigm emerged, it has become increasingly clear that no single language or VM can succeed to the exclusion of others. This motivates a different approach in which languages are no longer implemented as VMs per se, but as participants in certain shared system-wide protocols, shared across diverse collection of languages and constituting a more porous boundary. One means of achieving such a shift is to evolve the underlying infrastructure from an essentially Unix-like environment to one that incorporates VM-like services, including memory management primitives, as a core protocol shared between many language implementations. Ongoing work towards these goals within the liballocs runtime is discussed, specifically concerning pointer identification, process-wide garbage collection, and speculative optimisations.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1145/3191697.3191728
Uncontrolled keywords: Unix, virtual machines, debugging, garbage collection, linking
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Stephen Kell
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2019 15:52 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2020 04:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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