Dave Thomas

Clojure: Lisp for the Real World – Stuart Sierra & Dave Thomas – 21 May

Clojure: Lisp for the Real World (Stuart Sierra)

Clojure is a new dynamic language targeting the Java Virtual Machine, the .NET Common Language Runtime, and JavaScript. Clojure builds on the long history of Lisp-based languages while embracing modern platforms and pragmatic design. This talk is an introduction to Clojure and its core concepts: immutable values, code as data, software transactional memory, generic data access, and polymorphism without classes.

JVMs Demystified – A Tour of the LVM Engine Room (Dave Thomas)
Dave looks under the hood of LVMs (language virtual machines) to gain an understanding of what makes them tick as well as differences between them. He explains the essence LVM engineering including object representations, stack versus register machines, RISC versus CISC byte codes; static dispatch to polymorphic inline cache; context management; interpretation versus dynamic translation/tracing JITs versus compilation; garbage collection; and native types and code interfaces. He then discusses benchmark speed and space performance versus real application performance.

Armed with this knowledge, he then tackles some of the common LVM debates. How can a JVM or PHP VM be faster than C++? When is the JVM or CLR better? How does the language, or the language library impact the LVM? Are strongly typed languages always faster than dynamic languages? How does hosting with CRuby, compare to JRuby or Java? Let’s put the LVM in hardware? How do functional language LVMs differ from object LVMs? How can thousands of processes in Erlang be efficient compared to using native OS threads?


About the Presenters
Stuart Sierra has been involved in Clojure/core since (almost) the very beginning and is the author of many open-source Clojure ilbraries. He helped found the Program on Law & Technology at Columbia Law School, where he built AltLaw.org, the first real-world Clojure web applications and open-source search engine for legal references. He is the co-author, with Luke VanderHart, of the book ClojureScript: Up and Running and Practical Clojure.


Dave ThomasDave Thomas is an expert in dynamic languages and has decades of experience building and deploying language VMs for mobile, instrumentation, embedded command and control, and business application on platforms from mainframes to a microprocessors. He is widely known and respected in the programming language community and this year will be presenting the keynote at the Commercial Users of Functional Programming (CUFP) conference.

While CEO of OTI, now IBM OTI Labs, he over saw IBM’s Smalltalk and J9 family of Java JVMs, OSGi as well as the initial releases of Eclipse. He lead an IBM OTI research effort into universal virtual machines. After leaving IBM he worked on JVM support for dynamic languages and the use of V8 for embedded applications. For the past 6 years Dave has been working with high performance vector functional virtual machines, DSLs and most recently exploring special purpose HW VMs.



5:30pm Welcome networking with refreshments
6:00pm Presentations “Clojure: Lisp for the Real World” and “JVMs Demystified – A Tour of the LVM Engine Room” followed by Q&A
7:30pm Networking refreshments and close




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