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Re: Perl 6... do we need another vm?

by harryf (Beadle)
on Sep 05, 2006 at 08:51 UTC ( #571216=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Perl 6... do we need another vm?

Looking at what Dan Sugalski has been up to recently with tornado, could it be there's another potential Perl 6 VM in the making there? From it's intro.pod;

Tornado's a virtual machine geared towards multithreading and vector operations.

Actually have yet to figure out what the point of tornado is, and whether there's any real potential there. Insight appreciated.


Comment on Re: Perl 6... do we need another vm?
Re^2: Perl 6... do we need another vm?
by Elian (Parson) on Sep 07, 2006 at 00:51 UTC
    Actually have yet to figure out what the point of tornado is, and whether there's any real potential there. Insight appreciated.
    What's the point? Well... does it really need a point? It could, after all, be art.

    Whimsey aside, Tornado's a niche VM, by design and intent. Most people don't have the need to run arbitrary small programs against large quantities of data, or to run massively threaded programs in a restricted environment, potentially across a large number of machines (distributing the programs with the data).

    If that's the case, it's a cute little indulgence by a guy with some free time and a few things he feels like fiddling with.

    On the other hand, there certainly are some areas where what it does (when it's finished, potentially before) can be quite handy.

    • It should be good for doing multiple interacting agent work for simulations, where the massive (portable) threading is a win.
    • It should be good for doing real physics simulations where the threading, vector, and distribution should be a win.
    • It should be good for doing configurable crypto, where the decryption program is shipped with the thing to be decrypted. (And really, would you allow arbitrary binary code to run on your machine? In a sandboxed, restricted VM you probably would)
    • It should be good for writing game engine bits. NPC/creature AIs, user-written agents or actions, or suchlike things. (Every object could, potentially, be its own little program interacting with the universe)
    Definitely niche, no question. But it's an interesting niche...
      Most people don't have the need to run arbitrary small programs against large quantities of data, or to run massively threaded programs in a restricted environment, potentially across a large number of machines (distributing the programs with the data).

      Not today, no, but more than yesterday and still more tomorrow.

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