Download PDF by Xiao-Feng Li: Advanced Design and Implementation of Virtual Machines

By Xiao-Feng Li

Besides the more and more vital runtime engines pervasive in our daily-life computing, there's a powerful call for from the software program group for a superior presentation at the layout and implementation of recent digital machines, together with the Java digital computing device, javascript engine and Android execution engine. The group expects to work out not just formal set of rules description, but additionally pragmatic code snippets to appreciate not just examine issues, but in addition engineering ideas. This e-book meets those calls for through offering a special description that mixes excessive point layout with low point implementations and educational complicated themes with advertisement options. This ebook takes a holistic method of the layout of VM structure, with contents equipped right into a constant framework, introducing issues and algorithms in an simply understood step-by-step method. It makes a speciality of the serious elements of VM layout, that are frequently neglected in different works, reminiscent of runtime helpers, stack unwinding and local interface. The algorithms are totally illustrated in figures and applied in effortless to digest code snippets, making the summary ideas tangible and programmable for approach software program builders.

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Extra resources for Advanced Design and Implementation of Virtual Machines

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The class data has all kinds of description information about its fields, methods, implemented interfaces, etc. Especially, since every class is an instance of class Class, class data includes the instance data of class Class. 3 METHOD DESCRIPTION A method need a data structure in the VM to describe its information. Code below gives the method information in a typical JVM implementation. typedef struct Method{ char *name; char *descriptor; Class *owner_class; unsigned char *byte_code; Handler *handlers; LineNum *linenums; LocalVar *localvars; Exception *exceptions; uint16 modifier; uint16 max_stack; uint16 max_locals; //method name //method descriptor //class that owns this method //byte code sequence //exception handlers //line number table //local variables //exceptions that may throw //method access modifier //max stack depth //max number of local vars uint16 vtable_offset; //offset in vtable JIT_STATUS state; //JIT compilation status unsigned char *jitted_code; //compiled code struct { unsigned unsigned unsigned unsigned unsigned } flags; is_init : 1; is_clinit : 1; is_finalize : 1; is_overridden : 1; is_nop : 1; //properties of the methods } Method; The data structure includes all the information about a method to compile, debug, profile, and link the method at runtime, including the information for exception handling and garbage collection.

The application may give hint on the data’s life time but relies on the virtual machine to dispose. Although the underlying system may provide certain level of memory reclamation support, it is desirable for the virtual machine to directly manage the application data (and the associated memory), because only virtual machine accurately knows the application’s data type and life cycles. If memory manager does not help recycle the no-longer useful data, the virtual machine may still run correctly, but the footprint and performance may suffer.

Runtime services Memory manager is an example that bridges the application to low-level memory resource. Program code only needs to declare a new class or create a new object with a well-encapsulated application programming interface (API), knowing nothing about memory, either virtual or physical. Then runtime services of the virtual machine implement all the support transparently to the application. Other runtime service examples include profiling, debugging, exception/signal handling, and interoperability.

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Advanced Design and Implementation of Virtual Machines by Xiao-Feng Li

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