Fortress project calls it quits due to lack of a decent VM

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Fortress project calls it quits due to lack of a decent VM

Talin-3
I thought this would be of interest to LLVM developers: The Fortress project, which was an attempt to create a very advanced language with implicit parallelism, parametric polymorphic types and many other cutting edge language features, has announced that they are winding down the project. What I found very interesting was that one of the reasons they gave was the lack of a suitable execution environment:

"...over the last few years, as we have focused on implementing a compiler targeted to the Java Virtual Machine, we encountered some severe technical challenges having to do with the mismatch between the (rather ambitious) Fortress type system and a virtual machine not designed to support it (that would be every currently available VM, not just JVM). In addressing these challenges, we learned a lot about the implications of the Fortress type system for the implementation of symmetric multimethod dispatch, and have concluded that we are now unlikely to learn more (in a research sense) from completing the implementation of Fortress for JVM."


This is particularly interesting to me, because in my own work on experimental languages I've run into many of the same brick walls as they have.

--
-- Talin

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Re: Fortress project calls it quits due to lack of a decent VM

Gordon Keiser

One sort of questions why a company the size of Oracle, working with DARPA funding, wouldn't have the resources to design the virtual machine they required for the project…   although reading the article they never do *quite* say that Fortress is being put down…       just that the research group is winding down on it, the JVM target work isn't going to be completed, and the current open source source code will remain open source.   

 

-Gordon

 

From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Talin
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2012 1:57 PM
To: LLVM Developers Mailing List
Subject: [LLVMdev] Fortress project calls it quits due to lack of a decent VM

 

I thought this would be of interest to LLVM developers: The Fortress project, which was an attempt to create a very advanced language with implicit parallelism, parametric polymorphic types and many other cutting edge language features, has announced that they are winding down the project. What I found very interesting was that one of the reasons they gave was the lack of a suitable execution environment:

 

"...over the last few years, as we have focused on implementing a compiler targeted to the Java Virtual Machine, we encountered some severe technical challenges having to do with the mismatch between the (rather ambitious) Fortress type system and a virtual machine not designed to support it (that would be every currently available VM, not just JVM). In addressing these challenges, we learned a lot about the implications of the Fortress type system for the implementation of symmetric multimethod dispatch, and have concluded that we are now unlikely to learn more (in a research sense) from completing the implementation of Fortress for JVM."

 

 

This is particularly interesting to me, because in my own work on experimental languages I've run into many of the same brick walls as they have.

 

--
-- Talin


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Re: Fortress project calls it quits due to lack of a decent VM

Preston Briggs
In reply to this post by Talin-3
I expect it was more a lack of corporate will.

Preston

 
From: Gordon Keiser <[hidden email]>

One sort of questions why a company the size of Oracle, working with DARPA funding, wouldn't have the resources to design the virtual machine they required for the project…   although reading the article they never do *quite* say that Fortress is being put down…       just that the research group is winding down on it, the JVM target work isn't going to be completed, and the current open source source code will remain open source.   

 

-Gordon



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Re: Fortress project calls it quits due to lack of a decent VM

Scott Michel-2
In reply to this post by Gordon Keiser
It's more likely that internal R&D funds are prioritized. Resources are not infinite. For example, if fixing geospatial indexing in a distributed cluster needs R&D money, it's more likely to get that funding than a language with limited adoption prospects.

IIRC, Fortress and Chapel were both funded through the DARPA HPCS program. HPCS wrapped up a few years ago now. So, the "working with DARPA" part is only partially factual. I also seem to recall that Fortress did not survive a down-select in the first phase of HPCS and that Sun had to go it alone to continue the project.


-scooter

On 7/22/2012 11:22 PM, Gordon Keiser wrote:

One sort of questions why a company the size of Oracle, working with DARPA funding, wouldn't have the resources to design the virtual machine they required for the project…   although reading the article they never do *quite* say that Fortress is being put down…       just that the research group is winding down on it, the JVM target work isn't going to be completed, and the current open source source code will remain open source.   

 

-Gordon

 

From: [hidden email] [[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Talin
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2012 1:57 PM
To: LLVM Developers Mailing List
Subject: [LLVMdev] Fortress project calls it quits due to lack of a decent VM

 

I thought this would be of interest to LLVM developers: The Fortress project, which was an attempt to create a very advanced language with implicit parallelism, parametric polymorphic types and many other cutting edge language features, has announced that they are winding down the project. What I found very interesting was that one of the reasons they gave was the lack of a suitable execution environment:

 

"...over the last few years, as we have focused on implementing a compiler targeted to the Java Virtual Machine, we encountered some severe technical challenges having to do with the mismatch between the (rather ambitious) Fortress type system and a virtual machine not designed to support it (that would be every currently available VM, not just JVM). In addressing these challenges, we learned a lot about the implications of the Fortress type system for the implementation of symmetric multimethod dispatch, and have concluded that we are now unlikely to learn more (in a research sense) from completing the implementation of Fortress for JVM."

 

 

This is particularly interesting to me, because in my own work on experimental languages I've run into many of the same brick walls as they have.

 

--
-- Talin



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Re: Fortress project calls it quits due to lack of a decent VM

Renato Golin-4
In reply to this post by Gordon Keiser
On 23 July 2012 07:22, Gordon Keiser <[hidden email]> wrote:
> just that the research
> group is winding down on it, the JVM target work isn't going to be
> completed, and the current open source source code will remain open source.

Now, who will be crazy enough to continue a project (open source or
not) that has being tainted by Oracle?

--
cheers,
--renato

http://systemcall.org/
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