The JVM Language Summit

by Janice J. Heiss

The 2012 JVM Language Summit (July 30–August 1) brings together top Java Virtual Machine (JVM) language architects.

Published July 2012

The 2012 JVM Language Summit, an open technical collaboration among language designers, compiler writers, tool builders, runtime engineers, and VM architects, takes place July 30–August 1, 2012 at Oracle's Santa Clara campus.

Summit organizer Brian Goetz of Oracle provides a perspective: "We've been running the JVM Language Summit for the past five years. The attendees at the Summit are the people who are making languages on the JVM happen—there are typically architect-level representatives from many JVM language communities including JRuby, Jython, Scala, Groovy, and Clojure. This is a tremendous opportunity for the community to influence the future direction of the JVM and for us to learn more about how the JVM is being used, where it shines, and where it falls short."JVM Language Summit 2012

The schedule is equally divided between traditional presentations, most of which are limited to 40 minutes, and informal workshops, which consist of small facilitated discussion groups among self-selected participants to enable deeper dives into the subject matter. There will also be impromptu lightning talks.

Speakers already signed on to give talks include William Cook (Batches), Mark Roos (RTalk), Matt Fowles (staged compilation), Jochen Theodorou (Groovy, invokedynamic), Oracle's John Rose and Brian Goetz, Dan Heidinga (MH introspection) Lukas Stadlar (Truffle), Per Bothner (Kawa), Jeroen Frijters (CLR/JVM), Duncan MacGregor (Migrating to JVM), Rich Hickey (Datomic), David Chase (Fortress), Rémi Forax (JDart), Basil Hosmer (Mesh), Ryan Sciampacone (multitenant JVM), Jim Laskey (JDI), Doug Simon (Graal), Michael Wiedeking (AL1 JVM assembler), Andrey Breslav (Kotlin/Java interop), Basil Hosmer (Mesh), Gilles Duboscq (Graal), Donald Raab (Collections), and Duncan MacGregor (ASM).

The talks will inform the audience, in detail, about the state of the art of language design and implementation on the JVM and explore both the present and future capabilities of the JVM itself. Some talks will shed light on the JVM indirectly by discussing non-JVM technologies. Past conferences have inspired developers to work together with JVM-based technologies to build the next great software systems.

One area of particular focus is JSR 292, invokedynamic, a feature of Java SE 7 that enables developers to make the JVM more accessible to other languages. "JSR 292 is about identifying aspects of the JVM architecture that are overly tied to the Java language and making them more general, eliminating the pain points for many non-Java languages on the JVM, such as JRuby, Jython, JavaScript, Scala, or Groovy," explains Brian Goetz. "But it has turned out to be quite useful in the implementation of lambda expressions in Java, as well."

Oracle's Thomas Wuerthinger, lead of the Graal OpenJDK project, will share new developments in the Graal project, which aspires to create a virtual machine in which major components are written in Java in order to benefit from Java's safe execution model and tooling.

Remi Forax, an associate professor of computer science at University of Marne-la-Vallée in France, will return to provide information on recent developments in JDart, a compiler that takes a Dart file and generates a JAR file that can run on any Java SE 7–compatible VM.

Andrey Breslav of JetBrains will provide the latest on Kotlin, a JVM-targeted, general-purpose, statically typed programming language. Kotlin takes for its design goals full Java interoperability, compiling as fast as Java, being safer than Java, being more concise than Java, and being far simpler than Scala.

Mark Roos, of Roos Instruments, who presented in 2011 on the design and tribulations of building a Smalltalk implementation on the JVM with RTalk, will provide an update.

Duncan MacGregor, a lead software engineer at General Electric who is working on compilers and runtime systems, will explore why developers would want to port a language to run on the JVM, how they can do it, and what's still to come that will make things even better.

Jim Laskey, multilanguage lead of Oracle's Java Language and Tools Group, will speak on the Java Debug Interface (JDI), a high-level Java API that provides information useful for debuggers and similar systems needing access to the running state of a (usually remote) virtual machine.

Basil Hosmer, Senior Language Researcher, Advanced Technology Labs at Adobe Systems, Inc. will explain Mesh, an experimental programming language roughly in the ML/F# class of eager, impure functional languages, with a primary focus on improving parallel/concurrent computation.

Non-JVM developers on similar technologies are welcome to attend or speak on their runtime, VM, or language of choice. The summit is organized around a single classroom-style room to support direct communication among participants, and ample time is provided for breakout sessions.

In addition to the technical presentations and conversations, the Summit offers many opportunities to network with peers. Copies of the 2012 JVM Language Summit Web page will be archived, along with agendas, abstracts, and slides from previous years. As was the case in previous years, presentations will be recorded and made available on the Web.

Stay tuned for coming vodcasts of the 2012 JVM Language Summit presentations!

See Also

About the Author

Janice J. Heiss is the Java acquisitions editor at Oracle and a technology editor at Java Magazine.

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