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O'Reilly Open Source Convention
Sheraton San Diego Hotel, San Diego, CA
July 23-27, 2001

News Coverage


A Novel Approach for Porting Perl to the Java Virtual Machine

Bradley M. Kuhn, Chief Technology Officer, Software Freedom Law Center

Track: Perl Conference 5
Date: Wednesday, July 25
Time: 1:45pm - 2:15pm
Location: Grande Ballroom A

At the fourth Perl Conference, two possible approaches for porting Perl to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) were presented. Both these approaches have unfortunate drawbacks that render them cumbersome for all but trivial subsets of Perl. This paper discusses a novel approach for porting Perl to the JVM. Due to an "impedance mismatch" between perl's intermediate representation (IR) and the bare JVM, the more generalized GNU Kawa IR is used as a companion to perl's IR. The perl IR is massaged into Kawa's "middle-layer" IR. In turn, Kawa's IR compiles directly to JVM bytecode. While Kawa's IR does not hand us a ready-made port of Perl to the JVM, it does provide more infrastructure than is available with any other system. Using Kawa's IR, together with the B module, brings us much closer to a full Perl port to the JVM than has hitherto been possible.

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