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In this era of modern, managed languages we demand ever more from our virtual machines: better performance, more scalability, and support for the latest new languages. Research and experimentation is essential but challenging in the context of mature, complex, production VMs written in multiple languages.The Maxine VM is a next generation platform that establishes a new standard of productivity in this area of research. It is written entirely in Java, completely compatible with modern Java IDEs and the standard JDK, features a modular architecture that permits alternate implementations of subsystems such as GC and compilation to be plugged in, and is accompanied by a dedicated development tool (the Maxine Inspector) for debugging and visualizing nearly every aspect of the VM's runtime state.As of the 2.0 release, September 2013, Maxine is no longer an active project at Oracle Labs. We believe that Maxine represents the state of the art in a research VM, and actively encourage community involvement.The Maxine sources, including VM, Inspector, and other supporting tools, are Open Source and are licensed under GPL version 2.0.
ACM TACO journal paper that covers the architecture of Maxine:Christian Wimmer, Michael Haupt, Michael L. Van De Vanter, Mick Jordan, Laurent Daynès, Douglas Simon: Maxine: An Approachable Virtual Machine For, and In, Java. In ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization, volume 9, issue 4, article 30. ACM Press, 2013. doi:10.1145/2400682.2400689Presentation slides for the ECOOP Summer School 2012:Christian Wimmer, Laurent Daynes: Maxine: A Virtual Machine For, and In, Java
Some of the features of Maxine that make it a compelling platform for (J)VM research include: