Sunday, July 27, 2008

First Post

Welcome to the Potato blog!

The Potato virtual machine project is an implementation of the Squeak virtual machine in the Java programming language. Potato is a direct derivative of JSqueak, which was developed by Dan Ingalls at Sun.

Potato started out as a coursework assignment in a virtual machines course taught at the Software Architecture Group of the Hasso-Plattner-Institut in Potsdam, Germany. At the start of the assignment, JSqueak was able to run Squeak 2.2 mini images in black and white. Two students were given the assignment to implement colour support in particular, and support for more recent Squeak images in general. After some intense hacking, some of which involved Dan Ingalls, they managed to enable Potato to load Squeak 2.2 images with 32 bit colour depth.

The idea of the Potato project is to evaluate the possibilities of implementing a virtual machine for a high-level dynamic programming language such as Smalltalk on top of another high-level programming language virtual machine, namely the Java VM. This allows for various interesting optimisations, such as exploitation of the rich standard Java API.

This blog will feature posts by the Potato developers and will serve the purpose of providing introductions to the structure of Potato, and to interesting ongoing development in the project.

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