[lively-kernel] image persistence

David Paola dpaola2 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 13 23:45:58 CET 2013

Thanks both of you for your answers :-) that self paper is *exactly* what I am looking for.

Happy hacking!

Dave Paola

On Mar 12, 2013, at 6:47 PM, Robert Krahn <robert.krahn at gmail.com> wrote:

> Btw. the most influencing work for Lively's persistency mechanism comes from Self, see the excellent paper Annotating Objects for Transport to Other Worlds,
> On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM, Robert Krahn <robert.krahn at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi, Dave --
> Thanks for the question, this is actually a really fascinating topic :)
> First, we wrote up some general information about it (that let's you
> interactively try out things ;) here:
> http://lively-kernel.org/repository/webwerkstatt/documentation/Serialization-Overview.xhtml
> and here:
> http://lively-kernel.org/repository/webwerkstatt/documentation/Serialization-Interface.xhtml
> I guess the "hairy" part was/is how to deal with "native" objects. JS browser
> environments introduce functions and state that are not implemented /
> represented in the JS context but hidden. The DOM and DOM nodes are an example
> for that -- you cannot get or modify all the state that would be necessary to
> capture or restablish a document / world.
> The solution that we came up with and that works very well is to implement a
> general JS serializer that walks an object graph starting from root objects.
> When certain objects are encountered - e.g. DOM nodes - we make an exception
> (this is what the serialization plugins that are mentioned in the worlds above
> are for) and store not their full object representation but just "what we need
> to know".
> The creation of objects from a serialization works accordingly
> create/instantiate objects + run custom init code for the "exceptions".
> The shortcomings of this approach are the following:
> - On the application development level you still need to be a bit careful what
>   objects you reference. Direct pointers to DOM nodes for example won't break
>   the serialization but when you deserialize you need custom init logic to
>   make things work as expected again.
> - The stored representations become big (x-xxx MBs) really quickly.
>   Implementing optimizations using the plugin approach is possible but
>   requires additional work.
> This deals with the "state" of a JS application / Lively world. Another point
> that you mention is to capture running computations. From a certain level of
> abstraction this is actually the same thing but since JS has incomplete
> metprogramming capabilities (you are not able to reflect on closures, e.g.)
> the "hidden state" problem comes up again. For Lively practically this has
> little impact since in the "reactive" browser environment Lively don't have to
> implement a "main" function. Anyway, we dealt with the problem and came up
> with a solution. I will describe that in an upcoming post.
> Please let me know if you have questions or want a more technical answer.
> Best,
> Robert
> On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 5:51 PM, David Paola <dpaola2 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi lively kernel folks,
> I've spent the past month or so digging around in several language VMs -- CPython, Rubinius, Topaz, Pypy, etc in an attempt to add the equivalent of the original Smalltalk "snapshot" VM primitive. Obviously I have been naive.
> I've learned a lot, above all else that I'm not giving up. I have a decent, academic understanding of compilers, interpreters, VMs (and a foggy understanding of JITs), and was curious if anyone could clarify how the lively kernel serializes the world into JSON. Was this hairy? What were the hardest parts?
> I realize everyone has a full time job and can't hand-hold a newbie, so any direction at all would be appreciated. I tried to pick apart the Squeak source code but without a background in the Squeak architecture, it was fruitless.
> Thanks so much for your energy on lively kernel, I'm looking forward to hearing more and possibly contributing in the future.
> -dave
> More info:
> I realize that the "high level" idea of snapshotting a running VM basically involves serializing the object memory, bytecode, and instruction pointer, and then deserializing that on "resume". Most of the issues I'm encountering lead me to believe I have an incomplete understanding.
> --
> Dave Paola
> _______________________________________________
> lively-kernel mailing list
> lively-kernel at hpi.uni-potsdam.de
> http://lists.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/listinfo/lively-kernel

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.hpi.uni-potsdam.de/archive/lively-kernel/attachments/20130313/36181745/attachment.html>

More information about the lively-kernel mailing list