Stackless/microthreads merge news

Jeff Senn senn at
Mon May 8 09:15:06 EDT 2000

Christian Tismer <tismer at> writes:
> Well, do you have an alternative idea where I should implant
> Stacklessness and continuations, with more feedback than
> in Python? Python is too small to find enough supporting people,
> I'd like to leave the small corner and get more publicity for
> this stuff, and a community to work on it. But where to go?
> ciao - chris

Well...I'll tell you where the future is going to be [IMHO, of course ;-)]

Look for the PC (desktop, general purpose computing platform) to
disappear -- or at least to become increasingly irrelevant in the sea
of billions/trillions of embedded information processing systems that
are about to inhabit our daily lives.  The world is at the point where
the cost of adding computation ability to even the cheapest of
manufactured devices is almost zero... and the cost of locally
networking even the simple devices is dropping rapidly.

What is the barrier?  The difficulty of embedded development.

Embedded development is still primarily done with very expensive tools
by highly specialized developers, mostly in C, assembly, and sometimes
C++ (yuk!) with hard-to-understand and often expensive "micro-kernels"
and "operating systems".

What do we need?  A cheap (free?!), open environment where the
language is flexible from high level(abstract) to low(algorithmic)
where the "operating system" is integrated with the language and
development environment.  Perhaps a language that can optionally load
higher types to fit in small places....  A language that is accesible
to a variety of developers.  Perhaps an environment that supports fast
micro-threads natively... which one can implement task
scheduling... ...that can be extended easily with a lower-level

Sounds a tiny bit like Java (Sun dreams on...) and a *lot* like
stackless python to me...

My one wish: that the VM implementation was about 30% trimmer and the
source code was easier to configure with mix-and-match features to fit
in a tight place....

---------------------------------------------------------    / / |-/ \ / /|
Jeff Senn           412-488-2900      MAYA Design Group     /|/| |/ o | /-|
Chief Technologist  412-488-2940 fax  2100 Wharton Street  Taming Complexity
Head of R&D         senn at     Pittsburgh, PA 15203

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