Andrew Langman on 14 May 2008 08:46:40 -0700

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[PhillyOnRails] Dynamic Languages on the JVM

A very interesting blog post from a Sun engineer:

He writes about the state of dynamic languages like Ruby, Jython, Groovy, and
Fortress on the JVM. He hopes that in a year or two "nearly Java-like
performance will be a normal experience for optimized dynamic languages" on the

Already JRuby is close to the original C-based Ruby's speed.

And something I didn't know is that the JVM developers are working to make the
JVM work better with dynamic languages:

"Language developers, working to bring their systems down to the virtual metal
of the Java virtual machine, will find their last mile blocked by JVM features
they cannot work around. But as they reach that point, they will find the JVM
engineers have been working to make the JVM open to the passage of new codes.
We JVM geeks are reshaping the virtual metal of the JVM to remove restrictions
peculiar to Java, to make it accept the new shapes soon to be produced by the
dynamic language compilers."

He mentions the Da Vinci Machine Project, which is "extending the JVM with
first-class architectural support for languages other than Java, especially
dynamic languages. This project will prototype a number of extensions to the
JVM, so that it can run non-Java languages efficiently, with a performance
level comparable to that of Java itself."

He says they are "letting the JVM grow independently of the Java language. (The
language, if it has room to grow, will catch up.) James Gosling expressed a
similar sentiment at his February Java Users Group talk 'The Feel of Java,
Revisited', when he said he sometimes felt more interested in the future of the
JVM than that of the Java language. 'I don?t really care about the Java
language. All the magic is in the JVM specification.'"

Has anybody experimented with JRuby?
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