The Transterpreter Project

Concurrency, everywhere.


Two projects for a new runtime

One of the challenging things about developing the Transterpreter has been shifting our thinking from core issues regarding the slinker and VM to questions regarding applications for the software we've spent almost two years working on.

Christian has achieved full occam-pi parity (with the exception of some floating point stuff). This means that we can write traditional, static occam2 code, as well as code that involves dynamic data, channel ends, and processes. To be honest, I assumed that the language extensions would take months to implement, not two or three weeks!

So, we're going to tackle two projects, partially to become more familiar with the tools we've built, and partially to lay some groundwork for doing larger, more interesting projects later.

  • We have access to a Pioneer3 robot; it's time to start thinking about architectures for robotic control. As long as we have a language that allows us to easily do concurrent and parallel computing, locally and over the network, we should dig into doing some cool things with the robots we have available.
  • Likewise, while we suspect our performance might not be that of straight C, we think we can write much shorter, expressive, and maintainable code on clusters. So, it's time to break up Adam's "Life" demo, and run it on the cluster. This will stress not only the dynamic aspects of the language, but force us to think about some issues regarding the effective distribution and setup of many Transterpreter virtual machines in a cluster.

While we're at it, it's also time to bring the whole group up-to-speed on the languages we're actively using. The Transterpreter is written in C, the slinker (or Scheme linker) is written in PLT Scheme, and we're a run-time that supports the occam-pi programming language. It's time to make sure the whole development team is competent enough with Scheme to help maintain the toolchain, and to spend some time working with the new, dynamic features of occam-pi!



Metadata

  • Posted: October 12, 2005
  • Author: Matthew Jadud
  • Comments: None
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