[Oberon] Michael Franz receives 2020 ACM Chuck Thacker Breakthrough Award

Andreas Pirklbauer andreas_pirklbauer at yahoo.com
Mon May 17 10:43:04 CEST 2021

Hi Chris,

   > Thank you for the info - that is a great achievement for him.  His CV
   > is also quite impressive :) http://michaelfranz.com/cv.pdf

Indeed, in particular the work around just-in-time-compilation e.g. for
Mozilla that his team did in the 1990s and which was incorporated into
Firefox etc, was excellent. Without that, browsers would not be so fast.

From a technical point of view, I learned a lot from him - especially the
many (very) clever techniques that he has used in MacOberon (some
of which I have later adopted). Very bright fellow.

However, from a "tech strategy" point of view, I believe it would have
been good to just have gone to Sun Microsystems around 1992/93 -
when work on Java was already underway - and propose his slim
binary instead of the byte code that was later adopted.

But that did not happen. When Sun released Java (with its byte code
format) in 1995, I knew it was all over. And the jewel was gone.

In all fairness though, one has to add that - unlike today - ETH was
more detached from the rest of the world in those days. It went its own
way, with a certain level of pride. Today, with modern communication
means, it would be different (although I’m not sure Sun would have
done anything different).


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