Smalltalk for real-time (hardware from LISP view) 
Author Message
 Smalltalk for real-time (hardware from LISP view)

Quote:



>>> I personally
>>> think there are more than enough potential benefits for having a silicon
>>> VM for Smalltalk

>>It may be rewarding to discuss the advantages, disadvantages and relative
>>costs of such an activity with the Lisp community, where one might find a
>>lot of experience with such issues.

As a 8 years Lisp Machine user (all from discrete CPU on 2times
journal size board to Lisp Chip) I want to add a word...
In these days special hardware adapted to the language, performing
garbage collection in silicon (or microcode) provided outstanding
performance, but at astronomical costs.
With the emergence of fast and cheap general purpose processors the
cost performance ratio became worse from year to year.
The lisp-machine companies have almost disapeared from market
therefore. I am sorry for losing the best development environment I
ever saw just because it was not ported to a standard workstation in
time. Now I am with smalltalk and the second best environment.
From this experience I can only vote against special hardware because
it prevents a broad acceptance of a language. Better invest in
optimizing compilers and fast VMs under the smalltalk system.

Markus



Sat, 14 Sep 1996 14:57:33 GMT  
 Smalltalk for real-time (hardware from LISP view)


Quote:



>>>> I personally
>>>> think there are more than enough potential benefits for having a silicon
>>>> VM for Smalltalk

>>>It may be rewarding to discuss the advantages, disadvantages and relative
>>>costs of such an activity with the Lisp community, where one might find a
>>>lot of experience with such issues.

>As a 8 years Lisp Machine user (all from discrete CPU on 2times
>journal size board to Lisp Chip) I want to add a word...
>In these days special hardware adapted to the language, performing
>garbage collection in silicon (or microcode) provided outstanding
>performance, but at astronomical costs.
>With the emergence of fast and cheap general purpose processors the
>cost performance ratio became worse from year to year.
>The lisp-machine companies have almost disapeared from market
>therefore. I am sorry for losing the best development environment I
>ever saw just because it was not ported to a standard workstation in
>time. Now I am with smalltalk and the second best environment.
>From this experience I can only vote against special hardware because
>it prevents a broad acceptance of a language. Better invest in
>optimizing compilers and fast VMs under the smalltalk system.

>Markus

Perhaps mass production and support from the major Smalltalk vendors and
the ANSI committee would help to keep the final production costs low
enough for mass consumption. I'm still asserting that a silicon VM could
be made to execute Smalltalk byte codes faster (in parallel of course)
than real fast general purpose CPUs! The design goal should be to keep it
executing byte codes faster than general purpose CPUs! This should not be
a difficult goal since the 80x87 numerical coprocessor can still execute
its floating point instructions faster than the same operations could be
executed by the 80x86 portion of the corresponding (non-numerical)
processor. Heavily numerical processing tasks such as doing divides and
square-roots tend to be rather time consuming macro instructions for
non-numerically based CPUs in much the same manner as a select: method
would be for a collection in Smalltalk.

================================================================
Ray Horn, President/CEO, Hierarchical Applications Limited (HAL)


================================================================



Sat, 14 Sep 1996 23:13:34 GMT  
 
 [ 2 post ] 

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