[Edinburgh-pm] RPython/PyPy talk Tuesday 28th, 1600, Informatics Forum

Miles Gould miles at assyrian.org.uk
Tue Feb 21 05:58:33 PST 2012

There's a talk about RPython and PyPy at the Informatics Forum on 
Crichton Street next Tuesday - abstract below - and I thought that some 
of you might be interested. If you don't have a University keycard then 
you'll need someone to let you into the building; email me and I'll be 
happy to sign you in.

ICSA is the Institute for Computer Systems Architecture; LFCS is the 
Logic and the Foundations of Computer Science group. They live at 
opposite ends of the building, work at opposite ends of the abstraction 
stack, and rarely interact, so don't worry about looking out-of-place :-)


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fwd: [icsa-staff] [icsa-colloquium-series] ICSA/LFCS COLLOQUIUM 
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 13:45:38 +0000
From: Miles Gould <mgould1 at inf.ed.ac.uk>
To: miles at assyrian.org.uk

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [icsa-staff] [icsa-colloquium-series] ICSA/LFCS COLLOQUIUM TALK
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 10:15:37 -0000
From: hlow at staffmail.ed.ac.uk
Reply-To: hlow at staffmail.ed.ac.uk
To: <icsa-colloquium-series at inf.ed.ac.uk>, <seminars at inf.ed.ac.uk>


First announcement for forthcoming talk on 28th February.

**This is a joint talk with LFCS**

Date: Tuesday 28th February 2012
Time: 16:00-17:00
Venue: IF 4.31/4.33

Talk and presentation from Laurence Tratt of Kings College London.
Title: Experiences of implementing a VM with RPython

Programming language designers face a horrible dilemma when it comes to
implementing their languages: too little implementation, and it will be
laughed at as too slow; too much, and it Officially I don't think these 
talks are open to the public, but I can will divert energy away from
design. Lacking the manpower to make a plausibly fast implementation, many
interesting language design ideas have faded unfairly into obscurity.

In this talk I look at a new mode of creating "fast enough virtual machines
in fast enough time" Virtual Machines (VMs), using the meta-tracing JIT
language RPython. Unlike previous approaches, RPython creates VMs that
automatically come with a JIT customised for the language being interpreted.
RPython has been used to implement a new VM for Python that gives an average
speed-up of 5x over the stock VM, and thus demonstrably scales to "real"

I will share my experiences of creating an RPython VM for the Converge
language http://convergepl.org/ to replace the existing C VM. The new VM
executes between 3x and 10x faster than the old VM, despite taking
significantly less work to create.

I will outline: how RPython works; what a VM created using it looks like;
the trade-offs of using RPython; as well as thoughts for the future of
similar approaches.


Heather Low
School of Informatics
The University of Edinburgh
Informatics Forum 1.37

Tel: 0131 650 8741

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland,
with registration number SC005336.

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