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Languages aside, I don't think the world needs another VM. Can't people just target an existing one? Please?

Your comment seems to imply that there is already a rich ecosystem of VMs in use, but there aren't really. Basically, there's the Java VM, which is bad for functional languages, and there's Mono, which is not really ideal for Scheme either, nor very popular except that it allows compatibility with .NET.

At any rate, I'm pretty sure PLT Scheme predates both Java and the CLI, so you'd be better off slagging Microsoft for their duplication.

LLVM is not really a virtual machine, at least not in the same sense as the ones we're talking about.

First, the Racket VM has been under development since 1995, so it's not "another VM".

Second, the Racket VM supports lots of things that other VMs don't: the Racket module system [1], kill-safe synchronization [2], custodians and eventspaces [3], first-class continuations, and many other things besides.

[1] Composable and Compilable Modules, Flatt 2002

[2] Kill-Safe Synchronization Abstractions, Flatt + Findler 2004

[3] Programming Languages as Operating Systems, Flatt et al, 1999

If the FFI is good, why do you care?

The PLT VM is very very good, and their FFI is very flexible. If you want a lispy dialect on the Java VM, you have one. But otherwise, why does it matter?

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