Truffle and mlvm

Mark Roos mroos at
Fri Aug 29 20:59:11 UTC 2014

Moving from the startup thread.

Thomas has been wondering why using Truffle as a solution is not getting 
traction.  I was initially, and continue to be, quite interested in 
Truffle.  So how could
Truffle help out us non Java on the JVM developers to the point where we 
could be a
driving force behind it.  First note that myself and I would guess all 
language implementers
( as compared to researchers ) are like Marcus, very pragmatic.  Small 
changes are welcome
but wholesale ones are seen as a barrier.  So to use Truffle I would want 
to see it as an
addition to the jvm which addresses one of my specific issues.

The issue that I have where the solution is not evident is in the creation 
of primitive
methods.  A primitive method in Smalltalk takes the arguments and some 
and executes object code to deliver the result.  Traditionally written C 
or assembler
I now use Java and JNI.  Since we have the equivalent to value types 
(wrapped byte[])
primitives can be quite important for our vector math ops performance.

What would be very nice would be to attach a truffle.jar, pass it some 
data structure 
which defines a primitive and get back a method handle wrapping some 
optimized object code.
Given that this MH comes from a known source perhaps the jni like overhead 
be much reduced similar to an intrinsic.

This would be much simpler, I would guess, then the Panama effort to wrap 
arbitrary code. 
Plus I would not have to have a pre made object file per external 

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