Multi-Tasking Virtual Machine (Project Barcelona)
to.matt.ficken at gmail.com
Mon Nov 8 08:37:23 PST 2010
Myself and many others have been interested in the multi-tasking virtual
machine(project barcelona)/the isolates api.
However, its still not really usable, and isolates api projects seem
abandoned though I have heard that oracle may be looking into this again.
I am wondering:
1. Is there an active or usable project in this space that I'm not aware of?
2. If not, what would the interest be in participating in a new FOSS project
or sub-project to actually provide a usable multi-tasking virtual machine to
the Java community?
Would/could/should this be an openjdk sub-project? Or I should create a
I have already started working on this:
The source code for Sun's project barcelona(mvm) is available at: http://
Unfortunately, it is based on jdk5 and the mvm modifications to the cpu/os
specific code are only made for solaris on sparc (also it won't compile on
newer versions of gcc).
I have modified the mvm so it now compiles on linux/x86 using gcc 4.4
(including porting the cpu/os specific modifications for solaris on sparc,
to linux/x86), though it won't finish building due to a linking problem
(which is somewhat ok because its java 5 and to be useful, needs to be java
6 or 7).
I have the mainline jdk5 source, and my plan, to start this new
multi-tasking project is currently to: diff my modified mvm and the mainline
jdk5 to get a patch that will include all the mvm modifications(though will
also include my hacks, some of which may not be relevant other than getting
the original mvm to compile on linux/x86 w/ gcc 4.4).
Then taking that diff, and trying to adapt those changes to java 7 (I think
by the time this would be production-stable, would be about the time that
java 7 would be coming out anyway).
I've heard that it may be difficult porting some native code (particularly
Swing/AWT for MS-Windows) for multi-tasking virtual machine, though not so
much if the vm is running headless. Either way, the performance and security
benefits to whole classes of java applications more than warrant such an
So, who's with me on this?
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