We spent the 2nd day today with the Maxine VM group at Sun Labs to get familiar with the new meta-circular Java VM they are building. Maxine is completely implemented in Java, and makes extensive use of the Java language. Maxine bootstraps itself using its own optimizing compiler which understands how to specifically optimize Maxine VM paradigms and idioms, allowing Bernd and his team to use the full wealth of Java’s language features without incurring excessive runtime cost. Things like Pointers and Addresses are abstracted as objects, and the optimizing compilers knows how to turn them into machine words eventually, so you get the best of both worlds: neat abstractions, and raw performance. If you haven’t done so already, you should definitively check out Maxine VM. The source code will be released under an open source license some time soon (early June).