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Perl Mongers: chromatic presents, "How a Virtual Machine Works"

Free Geek
1731 SE 10th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214, US (map)
Public WiFi

Access Notes

Please register for class via Eventbrite: https://freegeek.eventbrite.com Please check in at the front desk when you arrive to let them know you are here for the class. Bags must be checked at the front entrance.


Perl 6, Perl 5, Python, Ruby, Lua, JavaScript, Java, C#, and many other languages use virtual machines as their execution environments. Instead of compiling directly to machine code, they rely on the presence of an ideal machine built specifically for the language โ€“ porting the language to a new architecture often means only porting that virtual machine.

Does that sound complicated? It's not. Some of the details of very efficient and effective virtual machines are, but the general ideas are simple.

This talk explains the important components of a virtual machine and how they fit together. Examples will come from the world of Perl 5, Parrot, and Perl 6, but the concepts apply to many languages and VMs.

You may never need to hack the guts of your favorite language, but understanding how they work can help you become a better programmer.

As always, the meeting will be followed by social hour at the LuckyLab.