A roadmap for Perl 6 and Parrot

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Patrick Michaud, bless him, has produced for Perl 6 and Parrot what it's needed for a long time: A roadmap for future development. (Note that the link points to the Subversion repository for Parrot, and may be moved over time.) It's well worth reading, especially if you're wondering what Parrot and Perl 6 are all about as far as implementation and development.

Key tech points for those not into reading so much:

  • Pugs is the Perl 6 on Haskell implementation being used to work out the language itself
  • The Pugs repository will be the home of the "official Perl 6 test suite" for now, and will be reorganized to make sure it reflects the current Perl 6 spec.
  • The Perl 6 compiler has four components
    1. the parsing grammar
    2. some parsing support subroutines
    3. the AST (Abstract Syntax Tree) transformation
    4. runtime support
  • Parrot 0.5.0 has a new object model that eliminates many obstacles in compiler work
  • Larry has written a standard grammar for Perl 6, and the compiler will be reworked to align with it
  • NQP is "Not Quite Perl 6", a lightweight version of Perl 6 for bootstrapping the language. Most of the Perl 6 compiler will be written in NQP.

Best of all, there's a big section called "How others can start hacking and contributing," with clear instructions for interested bystanders who want to jump in. Too often on projects I see current participants not realize that there may be a perceived barrier to entry for outsiders, and Patrick has done what he can to eliminate it.

I love love love it. Thank you, Patrick. I hope this article helps pick up some interest from those who have not yet joined.

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