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Conference Papers Year : 2015

A Bootstrapping Infrastructure to Build and Extend Pharo-Like Languages


Bootstrapping is well known in the context of compilers, where a bootstrapped compiler can compile its own source code. Bootstrapping is a beneficial engineering practice because it raises the level of abstraction of a program making it easier to understand, optimize, evolve, etc. Bootstrapping a reflective object-oriented language is however more challenging , as we need also to initialize the runtime of the language with its initial objects and classes besides writing its compiler. In this paper, we present a novel bootstrapping infrastructure for Pharo-like languages that allows us to easily extend and modify such languages. Our bootstrapping process relies on a first-class runtime. A first-class runtime is a meta-object that represents a program's runtime and provides a MOP to easily load code into it and manipulate its objects. It decou-ples the virtual machine (VM) and language concerns by introducing a clear VM-language interface. Using this process, we show how we succeeded to bootstrap a Smalltalk-based language named Candle and then extend it with traits in less than 250 lines of high-level Smalltalk code. We also show how we can bootstrap with minimal effort two other languages (Pharo and MetaTalk) with similar execution semantics but different object models. Acknowledgments We thank the European Smalltalk User Group for their support (www.esug.org).
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Dates and versions

hal-01185812 , version 1 (21-08-2015)





Guillermo Polito, Stéphane Ducasse, Luc Fabresse, Noury Bouraqadi. A Bootstrapping Infrastructure to Build and Extend Pharo-Like Languages. Onward!, Jun 2015, Pittsburg, United States. ⟨10.1145/2814228.2814236⟩. ⟨hal-01185812⟩
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