[bitc-dev] Reviewing the state of BitC

Jonathan S. Shapiro shap at eros-os.org
Tue Mar 9 12:52:39 PST 2010

As I get ready to leave Microsoft, I'm once again thinking about BitC. I
want to get the implementation and the language definition to a point of
usability, and this seems like a good time to examine some of the things
that I think, in hindsight, were mistakes or might warrant re-examination.
Most of these issues are mundane practical things. A few of them are deeper
design choices/issues.

One of the pervading themes that is currently on my mind is
interoperability. I want to bring up the compiler on either MSIL/CLR or JVM
or both. My current belief is that CLR should be done first, mainly because
JVM doesn't support explicit unboxing. That specific issue will be a topic
of discussion, but going in *either* direction raises interop issues that
need to be thought out.

In the interest of keeping the discussion threads sane, I'm going to
initiate them with multiple notes under separate subjects. All will begin
with "BitC 0.20" in the subject line.

I really want input on all of these points, but most especially on the
mundane ones. :-)

Since I'm not formally out of Microsoft yet, I need to emphasize that I'm
not engaged in this discussion on behalf of the company, that so far as I
know Microsoft has no interest in BitC one way or the other. They've been
gracious in allowing me to restart this set of conversations before my last
day (which is March 19th).

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