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Keywords:

  • compiler;
  • OCaml;
  • JavaScript;
  • bytecode

SUMMARY

We present the design and implementation of a compiler from OCaml bytecode to JavaScript. The compiler first translates the bytecode into a static single-assignment intermediate representation on which optimizations are performed, before generating JavaScript. We believe that taking bytecode as an input instead of a high-level language is a sensible choice. Virtual machines provide a very stable API. Such a compiler is thus easy to maintain. It is also convenient to use, and it can just be added to an existing installation of the development tools. Already-compiled libraries can be used directly, with no need to reinstall anything. Finally, some virtual machines are the target of several languages. A bytecode to JavaScript compiler would make it possible to retarget all these languages to Web browsers at once. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.