"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Minimum Requirements for One Runtime, Multiple Languages? Less is More

Dare Obasanjo follows up on Jon Udell's investigation into all things dotnet with a piece on language neutrality.

Two points:

  • The dotnet framework to date is "language neutral" within a very narrow definition of neutrality.
  • Should we care?

What is really needed in language neutrality? A few thoughts:

  • Shared nothing, scalable threads. Let our languages run in the same address space, but force them to say at an arm's length from each other.
  • Short-circuited message passing. Let our language collaborate the same way whether they are together or apart. Just make it more efficient if they are together.
  • I/O and other system services. Let them use a common set of system services, virtualize the limitations of the host OS.

There is no reason why one could not build a Longhorn on this "less is more" model, and the result would have more potential (flexibility, scalability) than the one that appears on the horizon, as far as I can see.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.