Re: Value types - compatibility with existing “value objects”

John Rose john.r.rose at
Fri Jan 9 00:37:57 UTC 2015

On Jan 8, 2015, at 4:29 PM, Vitaly Davidovich <vitalyd at> wrote:
> Thanks John.  I read that paragraph just now and do see mention of spilling to heap.  However, the bulk of the paragraph talks about the intended use of value types, which I fully agree with.  The register file is just an example of how one can best achieve performance by scalarizing the value type across registers - great, love it! However, I don't quite understand why you need to spill to heap and not restrict it to stack only.  I know this is probably discussing a pathological case as I'd imagine the threshold you pick will not be hit by people actually writing performant code, so perhaps we don't need to discuss it at length.
> In terms of freedom of implementation,  another thing I highly agree with.  However, I'd like to have a bit more control in some cases.  There are things the VM does that either I can't do reasonably or at all and I appreciate that (e.g. the various JIT optimizations around devirtualization as just one example).  But, for some things I'd like to have more say :).  Storage is one of them.  I'm sure you guys know that there are people out there that either avoid the GC like a plague and/or take their data offheap.  Using stack for temps is almost always going to be preferred over heap.  Anything that we can do to facilitate that would be fantastic.  Automatic storage is great when it's warranted, but it's a big hammer in some situations.
> P.S. I think GC still doesn't sit well with certain groups of people, thus some excitement about new languages like Rust and criticism of others (e.g. Go, D) that have it.  Obviously I'm not saying java needs to abandon it, but there are folks building middleware/infra components where they'd like better facilities.
Thanks for the good comments, Vitaly.  Yes, GC is a key value-add, and requires a whole team to keep fresh.

Indeed we are looking at managing stack more cleverly also.  A warning note:  If you OOME by moving stuff onto stack, you increase the frequency of SOE!

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