Zero-overhead integration of R, JS, Ruby and C/C++

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Description

R is very powerful and flexible, but certain tasks are best solved by using R in combination with other programming languages. GNU R includes APIs to talk to some languages, e.g., Fortran and C/C++, and there are interfaces to other languages provided by various packages, e.g., Java and JS. All these interfaces incur significant overhead in terms of performance, usability, maintainability and overall system complexity. This is caused, to a large degree, by the different execution strategies employed by different languages, e.g., compiled vs. interpreted, and by incompatible internal data representations. The Truffle framework addresses these issues at a very fundamental level, and builds the necessary polyglot primitives directly into the runtime. Consequently, the FastR project, whose goal is to deliver an alternative but fully-compatible R runtime, leverages this infrastructure to allow multiple languages to interact transparently and seamlessly. All parts of a polyglot application can be compiled by the same optimizing compiler, called Graal, and can be executed and debugged simultaneously, with little to no overhead at the language boundary. This talk introduces FastR and the basic concepts driving Truffle's transparent interoperability, along with a demo of the polyglot capabilities of the FastR runtime.

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