Our seminar series is free and available for anyone to attend. Unless otherwise stated, seminars take place on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm in the Kilburn Building during teaching season.

If you wish to propose a seminar speaker please contact Antoniu Pop.


The Maxine Project -- productive and approachable development of high-performance virtual machines

  • Speaker:   Dr  Laurent Daynes  (Oracle Labs)
  • Host:   Barry Cheetham
  • 12th December 2011 at 14:00 in 2.19, Kilburn Building
Increasingly, the answer to exploiting new hardware and to adequately address new class of problems both in terms of performance and productivity comprises developing domain-specific programming languages. Consequently, quickly prototyping a new virtual machine (VM) or adapting an existing one to accommodate new programming languages is becoming crucial. Developing a high-performance VM is a time-consuming and challenging task. The choice of programming language to develop a VM has a significant impact as it dictates the level of productivity one can enjoy from the language's features and from the available development tools (IDE, diagnosis, debugging, testing).

The Maxine virtual machine is an open-source virtual machine developed in Java from Oracle Labs that aims at offering an highly productive and approachable vehicle to experiment with VM implementations.

After a presentation of the key aspects of the design of the Maxine VM, the talk will focus on how developing virtual machines with Maxine compare with developing the HotSpot VM, Oracle's flagship high-performance, industrial-strength Java Virtual Machine. We will base our comparison on several key VM implementation idioms adopted in the HotSpot JVM with their counterpart in Maxine.

We will then described the other key productivity tool used daily during VM development: the Maxine Inspector, an innovative visual tool that seamlessly integrates object browsing with both source-level and low-level debugging.

We will conclude with a brief presentation of the ongoing efforts on Maxine and a non-exhaustive list of open issues, and we will discuss the Maxine project's model for technology transfer within Oracle.
▲ Up to the top