Chapter Five High-Level Language Virtual Machine Architecture

A computer system implements a particular ISA and runs a specific OS only as a means to an end. It is the real work done by application programs that is important. Nevertheless, in a conventional computing environment, a compiled application is firmly tied to a particular OS and ISA. To move an application program to a platform with a different OS and/or ISA, it must be ported, which involves recompilation at the least but may also involve rewriting libraries and/or translation of OS calls. Furthermore, porting must be done on a per-program basis, and, after porting is done, any later upgrades or bug fixes must be applied to all the ported versions, followed by recompilation.

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