[plt-dev] Java FFI?

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Tue May 25 13:07:28 EDT 2010

It's been a while since I've looked closely at our FFI docs, so maybe
this question has a trivial answer, but I can't find it by searching.

For our security tools, we used to use the C FFI for a long time.  But
then we switched out some of the underlying infrastructure, which is
in Java instead of C.  It was much easier to prototype in SISC than in
PLT Scheme, so we switched to SISC for a while.

Unfortunately, of course, the script grew up into a program.  Since
there is likely to be a major re-implementation in the near future,
this is a good time to port it back to PLT.  (Plus, I hear there's
this incredibly cool new thing called Racket coming out, and we want
to jump on the bandwagon so we're thought of as cool kids.)

Question: What is the current state of an FFI to Java or the JVM?  It
presumably won't be as nice as that in SISC, but we understand that
trade-off.  However, with only one grad student on the tool, and his
time mostly spent on the theory, we don't want to get stuck in a rut
building and maintaining an FFI infrastructure.  We'd rather use a
sanctioned and mantained FFI instead.

Is there already a good Java FFI story?  If not, are we the only ones
who could really use one?  I'd have thought the Untyped and other Web
guys would have real use for one.


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