Backend Question

Suman Karumuri <>
7 Oct 2005 21:45:09 -0400

          From comp.compilers

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| List of all articles for this month |

From: Suman Karumuri <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 7 Oct 2005 21:45:09 -0400
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: code, question, VM
Posted-Date: 07 Oct 2005 21:45:09 EDT

Hi all,

I am planning to implement a *prototype* of a new dynamically typed OO
language inspired by python and smalltalk.I am a computer science
graduate and am implementing the prototype in python at the moment. I
also plan to add the following features to the prototype in future:
- Erlang style processes
- Language should be Easy to debug (is also a main criteria)

At present i am stuck with selecting a back end for my language. I am
looking at a back end/VM which has the following features.
- Good documentation
- Easy to learn
- Preferably open source and cross platform
- Should be high level and should do many things out of the box.
- Code generation should be easy from python
- Should provide advanced features like GC etc..
- Speed and efficiency are not the important in the prototype. Even 10
times slower VM is ok.

After some search i felt that parrot VM fits my bill correctly because
the VM is very much high level(takes care of register spilling etc..)
with an optional low level interface, has GC, and scanty
documentation. Since the project is running since 5 years with no real
compiler on it i am little sceptical about its use. Can you please
give your opinions on this?

Here are the other questions:

-if i have to implement erlang style processes in future, how much
does the choice of VM hinder/help the implementation.How can your own
interpreter help here?

-If not parrot, i am planning to use python's interpreter. Can anyone
tell me how good is this idea? Python's byte code interpreter is not
very well documented because no one uses it, but i am preferring it
because i am implementing in python.

-Can someone throw light on why we should be writing our own
interpreter for a new language while discarding the existing ones.


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