These are good insights. I am interested in following your
development, and you've made a convincing argument as to why you need
a new compiler.
I agree that reflection will kill you. I actually hadn't thought
about this, but it seems like there should be some sort of analysis to
be able to get rid of the overly large reflective cost. Since inside
your interpreter you will use a fairly fixed set of reflective calls,
I would assume that for (example) long loops inside the program
reflective calls could also be handled by the JIT (but, I assume they
are *not*). Still, I agree that if the numbers are as you say, then
having a compiler to Dex bytecode will help.
FYI from a research standpoint I am interested in doing something with
this. I was going to work on implementing my own language for
scripting apps, but I feel that would be a slight waste of time, as I
really care more about the semantics within apps.
So this is cool, I'd like to see if the language you have models the
sort of thing I want to express, I believe it may. In any case, I
will take a look at your compiler this weekend.
FYI during a project I work on we've written a compiler (really binary
rewriter) for Dalvik bytecode in OCaml, though if you wanted to use it
as part of your project you would have to properly port the ocaml
runtime to Android (unless you could deal with doing development on a
machine and then having it loaded to a phone all the time, which I
probably would for my research purposes..).
Anyway, thanks for the clarification, I'll be sure to take a look. If
you want any help, or have ideas on what you'd like to do next, I'd be
interested in hearing.
Slight word of advice: android-developers is probably a sort of bad
place to announce this. Why? Because most people on this list are
just here looking for immediate advice about how to fix their broken
app... You might also try broadcasting on android-platform or
something, I'm not sure where the proper place to announce this would
Do you have a community set in place for your language? (I.e., a
mailing list I can join to watch your development?)
Also, as matter of personal preference, would you ever consider
switching to github ... :-P... I just don't like the google code
interface as much...
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