Poll: Primary D version

bearophile bearophileHUGS at lycos.com
Sun May 23 00:00:25 PDT 2010

Walter Bright:
> 1. D has to work with the corresponding C compiler, which does not support such 
> a memory model. This kills it right there.

But the 'need' to do it can "resurrect" this feature from the dead. Sometimes you just need to do something, even such thing was not seen as "possible" in the past.

The Oracle JavaVM is already using this optimization, but indeed it doesn't need to keep compatibility with the C compiler.
This shows pointer compression in C and the like:

Even if pointer compression can cause problems at the interface between C and D, there can be ways to decompress pointers when they are given to C libraries. So you can perform more efficient computations inside D code, and adapt (inflate) your pointers when they are needed for processing inside C code.

There are things (like pointer compression, de-virtualization, dynamic decompilation, and so on) that future C-class languages can find useful to do that C compilers ten years ago didn't even think possible. Things are not set in stone, there's change too. Don't kill an idea just because it was kind of impossible (and probably kind of useless too) fifteen years ago.


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