The next meeting of the UK Smalltalk User Group will be on Wednesday, January 27th.
For this presentation, guest speaker Michael Engel will bring us back to basics with a bare-metal Smalltalk-80 system for the Raspberry Pi.
In 2020, the Xerox PARC research laboratory celebrated its 50th anniversary. One of the most important developments coming out of PARC is the Smalltalk system, which integrates a programming language, operating system and graphical user interface.
Today, most of the Smalltalk systems run in hosted mode on a conventional operating system. This contradicts Dan Ingalls' idea that "an operating system is a collection of things that don't fit inside a language; there shouldn't be one". Accordingly, original Smalltalk systems, e.g. for the Alto workstation, ran on the bare metal of the computer.
In this talk, we will discuss an approach to create a bare-metal Smalltalk-80 implementation for the Raspberry Pi, a popular family of ARM-based systems. Interesting aspects that will be investigated are the overhead involved in bringing the system to life and debugging it, adapting the system to different Raspberry Pi models, and constraints due to properties of the hardware and the Smalltalk-80 VM.
Michael Engel is associate professor for compiler design at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim/Norway. His research interests lie on the intersection of compilers, operating systems and modern hardware. In previous positions, Michael worked at different German Universities as well as Oracle Labs Cambridge and Leeds Beckett University. He also was founder and CTO of kernel concepts, the first German company working with embedded Linux systems in 1999.
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