Why languages suck (and what we might do about it)

Prof Steve Blackburn (Research School of Computer Science)

GENERAL Dean's Luncheon Talks

DATE: 2014-10-30
TIME: 13:00:00 - 14:00:00
LOCATION: CSIT Seminar Room, N101
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This talk looks at problems faced by many of today's languages, how those problems arose, what we could do to address those problems and what we could do to avoid history repeating itself. The basic question is why is it that languages like JavaScript, PHP, and Python are so important and yet have such conspicuous shortcomings, both in their semantics and their performance? The talk is part sociological (how do we as a community end up making such mistakes?) part big picture (what are the technological solutions to such problems and why is it hard?). The talk will include a brief description of the micro vm weare designing and building, (microvm.org) and some recent research that tackles the major barrier to high performance garbage collection in many managed language implementations.
Steve Blackburn is a professor at the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University. His research interests include programming language implementation, architecture, and performance analysis. Steve has been heavily involved in two major research infrastructure projects; the DaCapo benchmark suite and Jikes RVM, and has recently embarked on a third, the Micro VM.

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