[LLVMdev] VMKit state of the union, android support, and .net/CLI

Joshua Warner joshuawarner32 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 14 17:53:38 PDT 2013


This has nothing to do with LLVM or VMKit... but if you're interested:

I've been working on a light-weight JVM called Avian (
http://oss.readytalk.com/avian/).  It has a fast JIT compiler (that
produces moderately good code, but no optimization).  It doesn't have any
.NET support currently, but given the deep similarities between .NET and
Java, I think it wouldn't be a monumental task to add support.

I've been looking for an excuse to implement another language or runtime on
top of avian for a while now.  I'd estimate it'd take not more than a month
or two to get something substantial working.

If you're interested, let's take the discussion to the avian mailing
list (CC'd): https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/avian


On 13 September 2013 10:06, Jeremy Bell <bell.jeremy at gmail.com> wrote:

> I looked into the archives as far back as 2009 and searched around for
> more information about vmkit, but I still have some questions.
> First of all, what is that status of VMKit? Is there any active
> development? A roadmap? Is it in maintenance mode?
> Secondly, can VMKit generate binaries that can be used on android/jni?
> Finally, I understand that the .net/CLI support is no longer being
> maintained. Were there technical reasons for this, or just a lack of
> interest? Is the code still within the repository or was it removed at some
> point? If it was removed, what is the last tag/version of the code contains
> the .net/CLI implementation?
> The reason I ask is that I took over a project to bring Mono to android
> for open source development. You can see it here:
> https://github.com/JeroMiya/androidmono
> But development hit a wall due to licensing, because Xamarin, the company
> that develops mono, sells commercial licenses for Mono to use in place of
> the LGPL on embedded platforms like Android/iOS, and claims that the LGPL
> is not compatible with the Play store. While I disagree (as does the FSF as
> I recall), I'm not a lawyer and can't justify hiring one for a hobbyist
> project. In either case, it's clear Xamarin has become hostile to open
> source development with their product, so it's not something I want to
> test. This means apps built using my project could only be distributed
> directly (via sideloading) or via F-Droid or other open source friendly
> third party app stores, even if they're open source apps.
> So, I've been shopping around for alternatives to the LGPL portions of the
> Mono runtime which can more easily be licensed for open or closed source
> development on mobile or restricted app store deployments. The only
> credible alternatives I've found so far are the .Net MicroFramework, which
> is licensed under Apache but is meant for low level hardware, and VMKit,
> which sounds promising but the .Net implementation has been deprecated.
> If someone is more familiar with the VMKit codebase, could you comment on
> what kind of work would be needed to update the existing CLI implementation
> of VMKit to the latest source? Also, what features still need to be
> implemented, and what barriers have been identified? I'm not expecting
> anything production ready by any means, and I'm willing to do the work as
> long as there's at least a chance at success.
> Thanks for your time!
> Regards,
> Jeremy Bell
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