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> Of course it has a "VM" (aka runtime system)

VM != runtime system. VM == virtual machine, bytecode.




Virtual machines most certainly do not require bytecode.

GHC for example targets the "Spineless, tagless G machine" by compiling to native code that calls runtime services defined by the (abstract) STG machine ISA (the "primops").

Similarly, Go targets the Go runtime, by compiling to native code that calls "machine" services like collecting memory or scheduling threads. It might be a thin wrapper over the underlying processor architecture, but the compiler is clearly targeting the Go runtime as its target "machine".

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The Go runtime does nothing what a machine does. Compiled Go code consists of pure, native machine code instructions, no special opcodes. It's just that some additional functionality is statically linked in.

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