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[Tinycc-devel] bytecode

From: Chris
Subject: [Tinycc-devel] bytecode
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 21:13:49 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.6 (X11/20050912)

I have seen some brief mention of bytecode targets here and there on this list over the last few years. Has anything come of any of those?

I really would like to see a C to bytecode compiler and an accompanying lightweight VM to run the bytecode. I imagine the VM would be extremely simple (relatively speaking at least), lightweight, and fast if the only functionality was similar to standard ANSI C. This would allow easy embedding of the VM in applications. Especially if it allowed direct calling to/from native (binary) system libraries.

This would be very useful as a lightweight cross-platform system that didn't require recompiling for each target and kept the simplicity of C. Dynamically loading code off the network and running directly from memory would be much easier as well.

Targeting TCC bytecode to a new processor would be as easy as porting the VM to that processor using pre-existing compiler tools for that hardware; no machine code messiness.

The Quake3 game engine actually has a VM and compiler that is pretty close to exactly what I speak of but unfortunately it's GPL'd so not all that useful for commercial embedding.

// Chris

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