compiler history

Joe Armstrong joe@REDACTED
Mon Jun 21 17:14:50 CEST 1999

lyn wrote:

> just curious:  how was the erlang compiler bootstrapped?

First I designed an abstract machine to execute Erlang  (
this was called the JAM machine. (JAM = Joes
Abstract machine) - Then I wrote a compiler from Erlang -> Jam
+ an emulator to see if the machine worked.  Both these were written in

At the same time Mike williams wrote a C emulator for the JAM.

Then I rewrote the erlang -> jam compiler in Erlang and used the prolog
compiler to compile it. The resultant object code was run
in the C emulator. Then we threw away prolog.

Some of this is described in:


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