A mouthful of bytecode
December 4, 2007 7:57 AM Subscribe
posted by Skorgu (61 comments total)
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Bytecode-based virtual machines are the Next Big Thing in programming. You can run
, and yes even COBOL
on the JVM. Or if you prefer your languages to be a bit more melodic there's J#
. Even C/C++ has a bytecode compiler
now. That's not to mention languages that have their own VMs like Erlang
or that are writing their own like Parrot
Some background for the confused: Computer programs are traditionally written in human-readable source code then compiled to computer-executable machine code. Bytecode
is a sort of halfway point between the two. It's not human readable but neither is it tied to a specific architecture like compiled code is. Java is the canonical example: a program written in Java will run on any machine that has a Java Virtual Machine
(JVM) from your desktop to your cellphone.
With bytecode-targeted compilers programmers can write in their favorite language without being limited by the libraries and compilers written for it and have those programs run anywhere there's an appropriate VM.