SOAR: Smalltalk Without Bytecodes
Technical rept. 15 Nov 1981-30 Dec 1985
CALIFORNIA UNIV BERKELEY
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We have implemented Smalltalk-80 on an instruction-level simulator for a RISC microcomputer called SOAR. Measurements suggest that even a conventional computer can provide high performance for Smalltalk-80 by 1 abandoning the Smalltalk Virtual Machine in favor of compiling Smalltalk directly to SOAR machine code 2 linearizing the activation records on the machine stack 3 eliminating the object table and 4replacing reference counting with a new technique called Generation Scavenging. In order to adopt these techniques, we had to find new ways to support hash objects, accessing well-known objects, invoking blocks, referencing activation records, managing activation record stacks, and converting the virtual machine images.
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