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Smalltalk on Mobile (2017) (simberon.blogspot.com)
46 points by deepaksurti 4 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments

Too bad he's not releasing code for the smalltalk VM. I would LOVE to program for cell phones using smalltalk. The whole pharo VM is like 60 megabytes or something insanely low.

The VM is VisualWorks, a commercial? product.

The development VM is VW, for deployment on mobile he uses a custom VM. He also uses a completely separate custom class hierarchy.

See also Objective-Smalltalk [1] which is ahead of time compiled and uses the ObjC runtime.

[1] http://objective.st/

How difficult is it to write a VM for Smalltalk? Assume no little to no optimisations for simplicity's sake.

Timothy Budd's Little Smalltalk book and implementation explain how to write such a VM. You can find a copy of the book at http://stephane.ducasse.free.fr/FreeBooks.html

You can also google for the various version of the system. System 1 is the one described in the book. System 4 consist of a very simple VM in C that implements only the byte code interpreter, memory management and garbage collection. Everything else is implemented in Smalltalk itself, including the compiler. The system is considerably smaller and easier to understand than a full Smalltalk 80 system.

System 4 appears to be archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20071005062021/http://www.little...

Not that hard, the Blue Book last chapters are a description on how to implement a VM.


You can make use of a reference counting with cycle collector as basic GC implementation, without any JIT, for example.

I kind of figured, given the elegance and simplicity of the language we are talking about.

When you say "the Blue Book", do you mean Inside Smalltalk: Volume I?

No, I mean "Smalltalk-80: The Language and its Implementation".

The Xerox PARC books about Smalltalk-80 are known by their cover colors, green, red and blue.

Look at A JIT Smalltalk VM implemented in itself [1].

[1] http://www.esug.org/wiki/pier/Conferences/2010/Talks/Jit-Jit

Pointless in the sense it is just a game in a proprietary development Env which may be Smalltalk and cannot be extended.

What we to do. Play the game ?

It's at least interesting from a technical point of view that this is possible at all. Who knows, maybe it will inspire someone to make a free implementation.

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