Sunday, 25 January 2009

Building a Virtual Machine using LLVM: part 1

The OCaml Journal just published an article about compiler writing:

"This article is the first in a series examining the design and construction of a simple high-level virtual machine (HLVM) written in OCaml and building upon LLVM. Despite its simple design, the HLVM offers excellent performance, rich run-time types with reflection, tail calls, accurate garbage collection and an easy-to-use C-compatible Foreign Function Interface (FFI). This article describes the first step in construction: JIT compilation of programs from a minimal language..."

To read this article and more, subscribe to The OCaml Journal today!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Solving the Traveling Salesman problem using Simulated Annealing

The OCaml Journal just published an article about combinatorial optimization:

"Finding global minima of an arbitrary function is a significantly more challenging problem than local function minimization and has many practical applications from the simulation of molecules to the design of printed circuit board layouts. Several different global function minimization algorithms exist, many of which make repeated use of local function-minimization algorithms. This article describes a simple and elegant solution to the traveling salesman problem that uses the simulated annealing approach to global function minimization. The results are visualized in real time using OpenGL. In particular, we use an efficient purely functional data structure to represent the path..."

To read this article and more, subscribe to The OCaml Journal today!

Jane St. Capital expand their OCaml effort

Financial trading company Jane Street Capital recently announced that their growing profits are to be ploughed back into the company that will now employ over 30 OCaml programmers, 50% up on the 20 programmers reported to have worked there only one year ago. This ossifies their position as the world's largest employer of OCaml programmers. Yaron Minsky of Jane St. also commented that they probably have the largest OCaml code base in the world as well, weighing in at just under one million lines of code.

Citrix take second place with just under 20 programmers contributing to their OCaml code base. However, previous news shows that the number of OCaml programmers at Citrix has been growing over 80% per annum since mid-2006.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Low-level optimization tips and tricks: part 2

The OCaml Journal just published the second article in a series about low-level optimization:

"The OCaml programming language is unusually well suited to high-performance computing among functional programming languages because it provides a highly efficient code generator with a performant run-time and garbage collector. This makes it feasible to write high performance programs entirely in OCaml without having to drop to lower-level languages like C and Fortran for performance-critical sections of code. This article covers allocation and garbage collection and various forms of specialization including type, function and data structure specialization..."

To read this article and more, subscribe to The OCaml Journal today!