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‘On Inherent Complexity of Computation’ and ‘The State of Managed Runtimes’ [GeekOut 2013 videos]

From GeekOut 2013 in Tallinn, Estonia, we’re pleased to share with you two talks: “On Inherent Complexity of Computation” and “The State of Managed Runtimes” by Attila Szegedi. Attila is a Principal Member of the Technical Staff at Oracle, working on dynamic language features on the Java platform and the Nashorn JavaScript runtime for the JVM.

On Inherent Complexity of Computation

The system you just recently deployed is likely an application processing some data, likely relying on some configuration, maybe using some plugins, certainly relying on some libraries, using services of an operating system running on some physical hardware. The previous sentence names 7 categories into which we compartmentalise various parts of a computation process that’s in the end going on in a physical world. Where do you draw the line of functionality between categories? From what vantage points do these distinctions become blurry? Finally, how does it all interact with the actual physical world in which the computation takes place? (What is the necessary physical minimum required to perform a computation, anyway?) Let’s make a journey from your AOP-assembled, plugin-injected, YAML-configured, JIT compiled, Hotspot-executed, Linux-on-x86 hosted Java application server talking JSON-over-HTTP-over-TCP-over-IP-over-Ethernet all the way down to electrons. And then back.

Check out the accompanying presentation (also in the video).

The State of Managed Runtimes

There’s JVM, and that’s it, right? Well, not exactly. Even within JVM, there’s an increasing support for running all kinds of non-Java languages: we have invokedynamic, but it’s being improved, and new layers of functionality are emerging on top of it, making JVM a better home for all kinds of programming languages. There’s life outside of JVM too. JavaScript seems to be a new assembler-lever compilation target even for C programs (I’ll show some amusing examples of what exactly you can run these days in a browser) , and there are some independent efforts at managed runtimes in various stages of completion that seem promising – PyPy, Topaz, Rubinius, Parrot VM (it’s alive again!). This talk is admittedly a language-runtime-enthusiast’s walk-through the things he finds interesting happening this year.

Check out the accompanying presentation (also in the video).

What Attila thought about GeekOut

“GeekOut is not a large conference if you look at the number of attendees or tracks, and I have to say this works to its advantage – most people see the same talks and thus have good conversation basis; they can all also have a chance to grab the speaker in the hallway. I had an astonishing number of very meaningful and deep hallway conversations with attendees for the full two days I was there. In them I was quite impressed with the GeekOut-represented Estonian geeks – both how knowledgeable they are already, and how still willing to learn; all of this in an extremely friendly and casual atmosphere. Smashing experience!”