Thursday, January 03, 2008

VMoTW: Virtual Machine of the Week

Hey, now that the language wars seem to be dying down, what's starting up? The VM wars, of course!

It seems that no VMs are possibly good enough for the guys running around in the open source world. Today alone I was introduced to two new virtual machines.
  • Factor (a new language, though some discussion is put into the VM on their page)
  • Rubinus (note cute Web 2.0 URL)
I haven't looked at Ruby in a while, but it appears that the community is working on no less than 3 new VMs for Ruby and two ports to existing VMs (CLR and JVM).

Let's not forget that Perl guys are working on Parrot. Then there's the LLVM.

Granted, I think LLVM is for smaller platforms than JVM and the CLR, but what I don't get is why everyone is writing a custom VM for their toy language. Does every guy with access to GCC seem to want to write and distribute another VM? It's like the people who continually write new blog software. It's been done, it's a tired, solved problem. Instead of reworking from scratch, improve what's there.

I guess i'm just surprised because I'd think that language nuts trying to make something new would be working on top of the CLR or JVM, like the Boo and Groovy guys have done.

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