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Communications of the ACM


The Challenge of Cross-Language Interoperability

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Credit: Alicia Kubista / Andrij Borys Associates

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Interoperability between languages has been a problem since the second programming language was invented. Solutions have ranged from language-independent object models such as Component Object Model (COM) and Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) to virtual machines (VMs) designed to integrate languages such as Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and Common Language Runtime (CLR).

With software becoming ever more complex and hardware less homogeneous, the likelihood of a single language being the correct tool for an entire program is lower than ever. As modern compilers become more modular, there is potential for a new generation of interesting solutions.


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