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The State of Managed Runtimes 2013, by Attila Szegedi
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The State of Managed Runtimes 2013, by Attila Szegedi

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There’s JVM, and that’s it, right? Well, not exactly. Even within JVM, there’s an increasing support for running all kinds of non-Java languages: we have invokedynamic, but it’s being improved, and …

There’s JVM, and that’s it, right? Well, not exactly. Even within JVM, there’s an increasing support for running all kinds of non-Java languages: we have invokedynamic, but it’s being improved, and new layers of functionality are emerging on top of it, making JVM a better home for all kinds of programming languages. There’s life outside of JVM too. JavaScript seems to be a new assembler-lever compilation target even for C programs (I’ll show some amusing examples of what exactly you can run these days in a browser) , and there are some independent efforts at managed runtimes in various stages of completion that seem promising – PyPy, Topaz, Rubinius, Parrot VM (it’s alive again!). This talk is admittedly a language-runtime-enthusiast’s walk-through the things he finds interesting happening this year. Recorded at GeekOut 2013.

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  • 1. State of Managed Runtimes Attila Szegedi @asz
  • 2. THE FOLLOWING IS INTENDED TO OUTLINE OUR GENERAL PRODUCT DIRECTION. FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY,AND MAY NOT BE INCORPORATED INTO ANY CONTRACT. IT IS NOT A COMMITMENT TO DELIVER ANY MATERIAL, CODE, OR FUNCTIONALITY,AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON IN MAKING PURCHASING DECISION.THE DEVELOPMENT, RELEASE,AND TIMING OF ANY FEATURES OR FUNCTIONALITY DESCRIBED FOR ORACLE'S PRODUCTS REMAINS AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF ORACLE.
  • 3. What is a virtual machine?
  • 4. A virtual machine is… • a software… (not hardware) • …designed as runtime environment for other programs… (open ended) • …that conform to a particular machine specification… • …either existing hardware specification… • …or entirely synthetic specification.
  • 5. This is a virtual machine
  • 6. This is a virtual machine • a software… • …designed as runtime environment for other programs… (operating systems, mostly) • …that conform to a particular machine specification… • …in this case, a particular combination of x86 CPU and other goodies (graphics, audio, IO).
  • 7. This is a virtual machine • This is not the kind of a virtual machine I’m talking about today.
  • 8. What we’ll survey today • JavaVirtual Machine • Parrot • Some applications of Low LevelVirtual Machine • Rubinius • PyPy
  • 9. There’s lots of ways to target programs today • Directly for hardware. • Compiled for a virtual machine. • Have it interpreted. • These are not mutually exclusive.
  • 10. What are benefits of managed runtimes? • Automatic memory management • Object model • Code transformations • ...
  • 11. JavaVirtual Machine • Probably the best knownVM out there. • Started out as aVM for executing programs in Java. • Today it has a vibrant ecosystem with myriad languages around it.
  • 12. JavaVirtual Machine • Defined as a stack-based machine. • Built-in concept of classes, objects, and fixed-size arrays. • Classes have fixed field layout, with strongly typed field types. • Single inheritance for classes.
  • 13. JVM as target for dynamic languages • Fixed-layout classes make it harder. • People end up with hashtables etc. • Leading to poor interop with Java. • Your dynamic object doesn’t look like a Java object to Java program.
  • 14. JVM as target for dynamic languages • No multiple dispatch. • Wait, doesn’t Java have overloaded methods? • It does, but they’re resolved by the Java compiler, not by theVM. • Every language has to figure it out themselves. • No pluggable dispatch.
  • 15. JVM as target for dynamic languages • Where it excels: • Threading support • Memory management • JIT compiler
  • 16. JVM as target for dynamic languages • How to fix the deficiencies for dynamic languages? • Step 1: INVOKEDYNAMIC • Step 2: high-level operation resolver framework • This is what I’m doing by day.
  • 17. Invokedynamic lets you be abstract Duck duck = ...; duck.quack(); INVOKEINTERFACE quack(Duck)V
  • 18. Invokedynamic lets you be abstract Object duck = ...; duck.quack(); // won’t work in Java! INVOKEDYNAMIC call:quack(Object)Object
  • 19. Invokedynamic lets you be abstract INVOKEINTERFACE quack(Duck)V vs. INVOKEDYNAMIC call:quack(Object)Object • Doesn’t prescribe types • Doesn’t prescribe dispatch
  • 20. Invokedynamic lets you be abstract Duck duck = ...; Voice voice = duck.voice; INVOKEINTERFACE getVoice(Duck)Voice
  • 21. Invokedynamic lets you be abstract Object duck = ...; Object voice = duck.voice; INVOKEDYNAMIC get:voice(Object)Object
  • 22. Invokedynamic lets you be abstract INVOKEINTERFACE getVoice(Duck)Voice vs. INVOKEDYNAMIC get:voice(Object)Object • “get” can map to a field getter, array element getter, or a property method implementation. • Okay, but what is mapping it?
  • 23. Bootstrap methods public static CallSite bootstrap( String operation, MethodType signature) • The JVM will invoke it with bootstrap(“get:voice”, MethodType(Object.class, Object.class)) • We can return a “CallSite” - basically a slot with a target function pointer. • Target can be set multiple times.
  • 24. Putting it together public class Ducks { public static class ShyDuck { public void quack() { System.out.println("...quack?"); } } public static class LoudDuck { public void quack() { System.out.println("QUACK!"); } } public static class ConfusedDuck { public void quack() { System.out.println("Woof!"); } } }
  • 25. Putting it together var ducks = [ new org.szegedi.geekout2103.Ducks.ShyDuck(), new org.szegedi.geekout2103.Ducks.LoudDuck(), new org.szegedi.geekout2103.Ducks.ConfusedDuck() ] for each(duck in ducks) { duck.quack() }
  • 26. Putting it together ALOAD 2 INVOKEDYNAMIC dyn:getProp:duck(Ljava/lang/Object;)Ljava/lang/Object; [ jdk/nashorn/internal/runtime/linker/Bootstrap.bootstrap((Ljava/lang/ invoke/MethodHandles$Lookup;Ljava/lang/String;Ljava/lang/invoke/ MethodType;I)Ljava/lang/invoke/CallSite;) ] DUP INVOKEDYNAMIC dyn:getMethod:quack(Ljava/lang/Object;)Ljava/lang/Object; [ jdk/nashorn/internal/runtime/linker/Bootstrap.bootstrap((Ljava/lang/ invoke/MethodHandles$Lookup;Ljava/lang/String;Ljava/lang/invoke/ MethodType;I)Ljava/lang/invoke/CallSite;) ] SWAP INVOKEDYNAMIC dyn:call(Ljava/lang/Object;Ljava/lang/Object;)Ljava/lang/ Object; [ jdk/nashorn/internal/runtime/linker/Bootstrap.bootstrap((Ljava/lang/ invoke/MethodHandles$Lookup;Ljava/lang/String;Ljava/lang/invoke/ MethodType;I)Ljava/lang/invoke/CallSite;) ]
  • 27. How’s JVM faring so far • Java 8 will ship Nashorn, a JavaScript-on-the-JVM • completely INVOKEDYNAMIC based • in-house dogfooding of INVOKEDYNAMIC • A lot of other languages, both using Indy and not, already target the JVM. I hear some are here at this conference too :-) • My Dynalink project (on GitHub) helps you reduce the pain of providing high level operations for your language.
  • 28. Parrot virtual machine • Started out as aVM for Perl 6. • Now it is language agnostic. • Specifically designed with dynamic languages in mind.
  • 29. Parrot virtual machine • Objects are “polymorphic containers” with changing layout. • Register based (not stack based as JVM). • Continuations as primary expression of control flow. • Built-in opcodes invokecc, yield, tailcall, capture_lex, newclosure…
  • 30. Parrot virtual machine • Cross-level language interop is basically built-in • getprop, setprop opcodes! • opcodes for loading languages and registering compilers! • Much higher level bytecode operations than JVM. • Basically starts out with Indy+Metaobject Protocols built in.
  • 31. Parrot virtual machine • Basic input formats: • Parrot Intermediate Representation (PIR) • Parrot Abstract Syntax Tree (PAST)
  • 32. Parrot virtual machine • PIR is human readable assembly-level language .sub factorial # Get input parameter. .param int n # return (n > 1 ? n * factorial(n - 1) : 1) .local int result if n > 1 goto recurse result = 1 goto return recurse: $I0 = n - 1 result = factorial($I0) result *= n return: .return (result) .end
  • 33. LLVM • It’s not actually aVM. • Used to stand for “Low-LevelVirtual Machine”. • Today, LLVM is the name of the project, and it’s not considered an acronym. • It’s a compiler toolchain project.
  • 34. LLVM • Register based intermediate representation define i32 @add1(i32 %a, i32 %b) { entry: %tmp1 = add i32 %a, %b ret i32 %tmp1 } define i32 @add2<i32 %a, i32 %b) { entry: %tmp1 = icmp eq i32 %a, 0 br i1 %tmp1, label %done, label %recurse recurse: %tmp2 = sub i32 %a, 1 %tmp3 = add i32 %b, 1 %tmp4 = call i32 @add2(i32 %tmp2, i32 %tmp3) ret i32 %tmp4 done: ret i32 %b
  • 35. LLVM C Haskell Ruby LUA Python Clang GHC Rubinius LLVM-LUA PyPy LLVM Optimizer x86 PPC ARM JS
  • 36. LLVM C Haskell Ruby LUA Python Clang GHC Rubinius LLVM-LUA PyPy LLVM Optimizer x86 PPC ARM JS
  • 37. C Clang LLVM Optimizer JS
  • 38. Emscripten • LLVM backend for JavaScript • Anything that compiles to LLVM IR can be translated to JavaScript. • Audio, graphics, IO libraries mapped to HTML5 constructs.
  • 39. Under the hood {xb(6155784,-1);C[1571410]=1;C[1571411]=16;A[3142824]=0;C[1571413]=32;C[1571414]=641;C[1571415]=481;C[1571416]=31;C[15714 17]=1;C[1571418]=1;C[1571419]=38;xc(6550284,0,0,0,93,0,0,6285640,4);xc(6569992,0,0,0,94,0,0,6285640,4)})},{c:(function() {xb(6155764,-1);Fc(6322920,1e4,0);Dba();Eba();Nc(5479372,1);C[1369843]=5970032;C[1369845]=5288420;C[1369851]=0;C[1369852] =0;C[1369846]=0;C[1369847]=0;C[1369848]=0;C[1369849]=0;y[5479400]=0;ub(780,5479372);for(var b=5472972;!(ve(b+84|0),b=b +100|0,5479372==(b|0));){}for(b=5448396;!(ve(b+32|0),b=b+48|0,5472972==(b|0));){}})},{c:(function() {xb(6155744,-1);we(6219428,21);ye(6219440,17,7,-1);ye(6219452,12,7,-1);ze(6219464,1797,183);ye(6219476,13,7,-1);ye(621948 8,14,7,-1);Ae(6219500);we(6219512,21);ye(6219524,10,7,0);ze(6219536,2049,1798);Be(6219548);Ce(6219560,1);Fba(6219572,1);y e(6219584,30,7,1);Ae(6219596);ye(6219608,1,7,2);Ce(6219620,0);Ae(6219632);we(6219644,21);ye(6219656,6,7,3);Be(6219668);Ce (6219680,0);ze(6219692,1812,1813);ye(6219704,6,7,4);Be(6219716);Ce(6219728,0);ze(6219740,-30664,0);ye(6219752,16,7,-1);Ae (6219764);xc(6434916,1,170,212,60,0,1,6219428,29);we(6221152,21);ye(6221164,17,9,-1);ye(6221176,12,9,0);ze(6221188,2347,1 83);ye(6221200,15,9,-1);ye(6221212,13,9,-1);ye(6221224,14,9,-1);Ae(6221236);ye(6221248,1,9,-1);ye(6221260,2,9,-1);Gba(622 1272,2,2,2,2);ye(6221284,27,255,1);Hba(6221296,254,86);Be(6221308);Gba(6221320,1,1,1,1);Ce(6221332,1);Ae(6221344);Ae(6221 356);ye(6221368,1,9,2);Hba(6221380,260,2);Ce(6221392,0);Ae(6221404);we(6221416,21);ye(6221428,134,9,3);Be(6221440);Ce(622 1452,0);ze(6221464,180,2350);ye(6221476,134,9,4);Be(6221488);Ce(6221500,0);ze(6221512,1812,1813);ye(6221524,16,9,-1);Ae(6 221536);xc(6446848,1,260,120,49,0,2,6221152,33);we(6187416,21);ye(6187428,17,13,-1);ye(6187440,12,13,-1);ze(6187452,2341, 183);ye(6187464,13,13,-1);ye(6187476,14,13,-1);Ae(6187488);we(6187500,21);we(6187512,23);we(6187524,21);ye(6187536,6,13,0 );ze(6187548,179,176);ye(6187560,18,13,1);ze(6187572,-30664,177);ye(6187584,1,13,-1);Ce(6187596,0);Ae(6187608);Ae(6187620 );ye(6187632,1,13,2);ze(6187644,0,2346);Ce(6187656,1);Fba(6187668,3);Ae(6187680);Ae(6187692);we(6187704,23);ye(6187716,30 ,13,3);ye(6187728,16,13,-1);Ae(6187740);Ae(6187752);xc(6313948,1,428,190,34,0,2,6187416,29);we(6197828,21);ye(6197840,17, 13,-1);ye(6197852,12,13,0);ze(6197864,1805,183);ye(6197876,13,13,-1);ye(6197888,14,13,-1);Ae(6197900);we(6197912,21);we(6 197924,23);ye(6197936,1,13,2);Ce(6197948,10);Hba(6197960,200,90);Fba(6197972,3);Ae(6197984);we(6197996,21);ye(6198008,6,1 3,1);ze(6198020,1814,1815);ye(6198032,1,13,-1);Be(6198044);Ce(6198056,0);Ae(6198068);Ae(6198080);Ae(6198092);we(6198104,2 3);ye(6198116,30,13,3);ye(6198128,16,13,-1);Ae(6198140);Ae(6198152);xc(6366212,1,300,210,71,0,0,6197828,28)})},{c: (function(){Iba();xc(6523164,2,0,0,61,0,2,6262368,140)})},{c:(function() {xb(6155704,-1);C[1566261]=27;C[1566262]=255;A[3132526]=0;C[1566264]=31;C[1566265]=1;C[1566266]=1;xc(6533728,0,0,0,0,0,0, 6265044,2);Jba()})},{c:(function() {xb(6155664,-1);De(6285544,0);Ee(6285556,17,14,-1);Ee(6285568,12,14,-1);Fe(6285580,1816,183);Ee(6285592,15,14,-1);Ie(6285 604);Ee(6285616,1,14,0);Ie(6285628);xc(6550252,1,0,0,15,0,0,6285544,8);De(6382688,0);Ee(6382700,17,14,-1);Ee(6382712,12,1 4,-1);Fe(6382724,1913,183);Ie(6382736);Ee(6382748,1,14,-1);Kba(6382760,4,2,4);Ee(6382772,8,14,-1);Fe(6382784,1914,0);Ee(6 382796,8,14,-1);Fe(6382808,1915,0);Ee(6382820,11,14,-1);Lba(6382832,0,5,1,5);Ee(6382844,0,255,0);Ie(6382856);Ee(6382868,8 ,14,1);Fe(6382880,-30641,0);Ee(6382892,8,14,-1);Fe(6382904,1916,0);Ie(6382916);xc(6587772,2,0,0,87,0,0,6382688,20);Ee(629 4292,1,14,0);Je(6294304,200,32);Ie(6294316);xc(6547548,0,0,0,10,0,0,6294292,3);De(6232508,0);Ee(6232520,17,14,-1);Ee(6232 532,12,14,0);Fe(6232544,-30636,0);Ie(6232556);Ee(6232568,1,14,-1);Ee(6232580,19,14,1);Je(6232592,256,12);Mba(6232604);Lba (6232616,2,2,2,2);Ie(6232628);De(6232640,1);Ee(6232652,6,14,2);Je(6232664,87,12);Mba(6232676);Fe(6232688,192,0);Ee(623270 0,6,14,3);Je(6232712,86,12);Mba(6232724);Fe(6232736,193,0);Ee(6232748,6,14,4);Je(6232760,87,12);Mba(6232772);Fe(6232784,1 94,0);Ie(6232796);xc(6517512,2,0,0,11,0,0,6232508,25);De(6381092,0);Ee(6381104,17,4,-1);Ee(6381116,12,4,0);Fe(6381128,-30 664,0);Ie(6381140);Ee(6381152,1,4,-1);Kba(6381164,8,15,8);Ee(6381176,9,4,1);Je(6381188,200,12);De(6381200,1);Kba(6381212, 20,29,20);Ee(6381224,134,3,2);Je(6381236,71,12);Fe(6381248,1178,0);Ee(6381260,134,3,3);Je(6381272,71,12);Fe(6381284,1177, 0);Ie(6381296);Ie(6381308);xc(6586432,2,0,0,12,0,6,6381092,19)})},{c:(function()
  • 40. asm.js • Mozilla embraced Emscripten’s code generator output as a JS subset: • arithmetic operations only • loads and stores into a single ArrayBuffer • calls to functions that only take numers and return number.
  • 41. asm.js • Force an expression to be double:“+x” • Force an expression to be int:“x | 0” function diagonal(x, y) { x = +x; // x has type double y = +y; // y has type double return +sqrt(square(x) + square(y)); } function add1(x) { x = x|0; // x : int return (x+1)|0; }
  • 42. asm.js • It’s a statically typed language that only looks like JavaScript. • No strings • No allocation • No calling of other JS libraries
  • 43. Other LLVM based runtimes • Let’s take a brief look at some single-language runtimes.
  • 44. • PyPy is Python runtime using LLVM. • Has sandboxing, good memory management • Has stackless mode (ever played EVE Online?) • Itself largely written in Python!
  • 45. • Toolchain available as separate project RPython. • Rpython is a statically compilable subset of Python • Most of PyPy written in it. • There’s now Topaz: a Ruby on top of PyPy! • How crazy is that?!
  • 46. • A word on “stackless” • Execution doesn’t use C stack • Can have million of micro-threads executing as coroutines efficiently on few CPUs • Very useful to program MMOs.
  • 47. • Similar to PyPy, only for Ruby: • Big part of implementation written in Ruby itself • Relies on LLVM to efficiently compile to Ruby • Similar memory management etc. characteristics
  • 48. • Similar to JVM too: • intermediate format is stack machine with bytecode • has high level bytecodes for yield, pushing blocks etc.
  • 49. • Object representation: • Has immediates for fixnums, symbols, booleans • This can be huge deal performance-wise • JVM-like objects (header, class pointer, fields) • Generational GC, similar layout to JVM: • Nursery,Young, Mature generations.
  • 50. Self-hosting • Recurring theme is to write as much of the runtime as possible in the runtime’s target language itself. • More accessible for language users. • Reduced bootstrapping core. • Benefits from its own optimizations. • Of course, old news in Lisp world.
  • 51. MaxineVM • Speaking of self hostedVMs… • Oracle’s open-sourced JavaVM written in Java. • Pluggable GC and JIT-compiler. • “Maxine Inspector” for debugging/visualizing runningVM state. • Great tool for learning and research ofVM technologies. • Great IDE support (Eclipse, NetBeans, IntelliJ)
  • 52. Maxine inspector
  • 53. JavaScript runtimes • Probably biggest innovation hotbed right now. • Google’sV8, Mozilla’s *Monkey,Apple’s Nitro • … as well as Oracle’s Nashorn.
  • 54. JavaScript is ideal • JavaScript is ideal language to get paid to work on it. • Extreme dynamism ensures there’s no single correct optimization approach. • Got to try them all!
  • 55. JS optimization strategies • Type-specializing code generators • Optimistic typing with on-stack code rewrite • Allocation-site object shaping • Static analysis (as far as it can go) • Profiling-driven recompilation. • Many more.
  • 56. Summary • I love JVM. JVM is great. Lots of innovation going on. • There is life outside the JVM. • I’m very enthusiastic for Parrot, PyPy, and Rubinius. • Diversity of JS runtimes and their strategies for efficient execution is also great to watch and participate in. • … especially if it means bringing back Transport Tycoon.
  • 57. Summary • As a general observation, commercial JVM technologies still have best memory management, observability/serviceability, and threading support. • Not saying others won’t catch up, but HotSpot/ JRockit/Azul/J9 etc. have a big lead in engineering effort poured into them. • So, if you stay with JVM, you’re also in a very good place.
  • 58. Image Credits Machine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38712296@N07/5264174576/ All used images are Creative Commons licensed, and used according to their terms of license.