[Pharo-project] Status of Alien

Eliot Miranda eliot.miranda at gmail.com
Tue Feb 8 17:19:33 CET 2011

On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 4:16 AM, Schwab,Wilhelm K <bschwab at anest.ufl.edu>wrote:

> Torsten,
> I have been under the impression that it has never worked on Linux - it
> would be great to be wrong on that.  Does anyone have Alien on Linux waiting
> for someone to try it?

I would be very surprised if it didn't work.  We at least use the data
manipulation side of things routinely at Teleplace.

> One thing slowing my search for FFI/Alien improvements has been that I was
> initially dependent on some vm modifications that I made.  Some off-line
> correspondence with Dave Lewis and the benefit of some time might have
> yielded a solution that will let me return to stock vms.

I need to integrate my new callback support and the ReentrantFFIPlugin into
the standard interpreter as soon as possible.  The ReentrantFFIPlugin
 provides compatibility with the old squeak FFI plugin but also allows
aliens to be passed as arguments, at least to the extent of passing Alien
Callbacks.  This means its possible to discard the Alien callout support and
use the FFI instead (but just to reiterate to keep the Alien data
representation and callback facilities).  The project for the next few
weekends has to be harmonising the primitive set and functionality of Cog
and the standard interpreter now that the StackToRegisterMappingCogit looks

> FFI has generally worked for me.  I am doing a horrible job of handling
> double arrays, but I am at least able to use them.  My "solution" makes
> assumptions about byte order and I have declare double* as void*.
> There was mention of extending FFI with callbacks.  Given that capability,
> the only thing missing would then to be make calls on OS threads to avoid
> blocking the image (but blocking the calling Smalltalk Process for the
> duration of the call).

I have this in prototype and want to release soon.  But there is too much
else going on right now.  Patience please.


> Bill
> ________________________________________
> From: pharo-project-bounces at lists.gforge.inria.fr [
> pharo-project-bounces at lists.gforge.inria.fr] On Behalf Of Torsten Bergmann
> [astares at gmx.de]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2011 4:04 AM
> To: pharo-project at lists.gforge.inria.fr
> Subject: [Pharo-project] Status of Alien
> What is the status of Alien.
> According to
> http://bugs.squeak.org/view.php?id=7475
> there is no one who confirmed it working on Linux.
> Any news here? Any ideas on FFI/Alien successor?
> Thanks
> T.
> --
> GMX DSL Doppel-Flat ab 19,99 Euro/mtl.! Jetzt mit
> gratis Handy-Flat! http://portal.gmx.net/de/go/dsl
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