Hasso-Plattner-Institut20 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut20 Jahre HPI

Polyglot Programming (Sommersemester 2019)

Dozent: Prof. Dr. Robert Hirschfeld (Software-Architekturen) , Fabio Niephaus (Software-Architekturen)

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 4
  • ECTS: 6
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 26.04.2019
  • Lehrform: Projekt / Seminar
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch

Studiengänge & Module

IT-Systems Engineering MA
Data Engineering MA
  • SCAL-Konzepte und Methode
  • SCAL-Techniken und Werkzeuge
  • SCAL-Spezialisierung


Polyglot programming is the practice of writing code in multiple programming languages, which gives software engineers a much broader choice in terms of software libraries and frameworks they can use for building applications.

In this seminar, students will explore the domain of polyglot programming with focus on the programming experience. For this, they will build novel polyglot applications for different use cases using GraalVM, a high-performance polyglot virtual machine. There will be weekly individual student project meetings (held in German or English) as well as occasional meetings with all groups during the seminar slots (held in German or English) to exchange ideas and present results.


Students should be relatively familiar with at least two of the following programming languages:

  • C, C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, R, Ruby, Smalltalk (in alphabetical order)


  • Fabio Niephaus, Tim Felgentreff, Tobias Pape, Robert Hirschfeld, and Marcel Taeumel. Live Multi-language Development and Runtime Environments. In Journal on The Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming, vol. 2, no. 3, art. 8, 30 pages, 2018.
  • Fabio Niephaus, Eva Krebs, Christian Flach, Robert Hirschfeld, Jens Lincke. PolyJuS: A Squeak/Smalltalk-based Polyglot Notebook System for the GraalVM. In Proceedings of the Programming Experience 2019 (PX/19) Workshop, companion volume to International Conference on the Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming (<Programming>), Genoa, Italy, April 1, 2019.
  • Matthias Grimmer, Chris Seaton, Roland Schatz, Thomas Würthinger, Hanspeter Mössenböck. High-performance cross-language interoperability in a multi-language runtime. In Proceedings of the 11th Symposium on Dynamic Languages (DLS 2015). ACM, New York, NY, USA.
  • Thomas Würthinger, Christian Wimmer, Andreas Wöß, Lukas Stadler, Gilles Duboscq, Christian Humer, Gregor Richards, Doug Simon, and Mario Wolczko. One VM to Rule Them All. In Proceedings of the 2013 ACM International Symposium on New Ideas, New Paradigms, and Reflections on Programming & Software (Onward! 2013). ACM, New York, NY, USA.
  • Thomas Würthinger, Christian Wimmer, Christian Humer, Andreas Wöß, Lukas Stadler, Chris Seaton, Gilles Duboscq, Doug Simon, Matthias Grimmer. Practical partial evaluation for high-performance dynamic language runtimes. In Proceedings of the 38th ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI 2017). ACM, New York, NY, USA.
  • GraalVM 1.0 Documentation, 2019. http://www.graalvm.org/docs/


The grading will be based on:

  • Participation in discussions (20%)
  • Mid-term presentation (20%)
  • Final presentation (20%)
  • Project work and implementation (40%)


The preliminary schedule is as follows:

9. April 2019 Introduction and project proposal presentations
11. April 2019 Project discussions and getting started
16. April 2019 Introduction to GraalVM
18. April 2019 Polyglot API
21. May 2019 Mid-term presentations
23. May 2019 Mid-term presentations
9. July 2019 Final presentations
11. July 2019 Final presentations