[r-t] Bytecode [was Attribution (was Seven Deadly Sins)]

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Mon Nov 7 22:45:45 UTC 2005

Clarrie writes,

> So let's simply compile the original source code instead at
> run-time.

Could do mate, except all your comments and stuff would be in there, so it
would be a bit easy to reverse-engineer, wouldn't it? I suppose you could
have an "obfuscated" source code, but then, why not bytecode?

What you're basically describing is Javascript, and that's really nasty
compared to a "proper" compiled language. One of the worst things about it
is having to fix syntax errors in the runtime environment.

Computers would also have to get a lot faster before you'd want the extra 
overhead of storing and parsing raw source code at runtime. The idea of an 
intermediate form is very powerful. You do as much compilation up front as 
you can, to take the load off the runtime. But you do the actual machine 
code production in the runtime, to give you platform independence and the 
benefits of late optimisation.

In theory, you only need one runtime per platform, too - many high-level
languages can compile down to the same bytecode.


P.S. Aye Sam, don't quote the digest in your replies!

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