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Java as an Intermediate Language

Jonathan C. HardwickFootnote and Jay SipelsteinFootnote

August 12, 1996



We present our experiences in using Java as an intermediate language for the high-level programming language NESL. First, we describe the design and implementation of a system for translating VCODE--the current intermediate language used by NESL--into Java. Second, we evaluate this translation by comparing the performance of the original VCODE implementation with several variants of the Java implementation. The translator was easy to build, and the generated Java code achieves reasonable performance when using a just-in-time compiler. We conclude that Java is attractive both as a compilation target for rapid prototyping of new programming languages and as a means of improving the portability of existing programming languages.

This paper is also available as a compressed postscript file (98 k).

This research is sponsored by the Wright Laboratory, Aeronautical Systems Center, Air Force Materiel Command, USAF, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) under grant F33615-93-1-1330. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes, notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. Views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of ARPA or the U.S. Government.

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Jonathan Hardwick