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Welcome back to an interim Perl 6 Summary, falling as it does between two conference weeks; OSCON and YAPC::Europe. For reasons involving insanity, a EuroStar ticket going begging, and undeserved generosity I shall be bringing my conference haul up to 3 for the year. Yay me! Now if I can just finagle a talk into the schedule I will have spoken at all three too. I'll certainly have heckled at all three...
Tim Howell wondered if Larry's State of the Onion address to OSCON would be available anywhere. Robert "White Camel" Spier didn't rest on his laurels, but posted a link to Larry's slides and transcript. Chromatic popped up with a different link, which neatly combines slides and transcript. However, they both lack the funny balloon pony which I gave Larry just before the talk. Maybe there will be video later.
A few weeks back, Dan asked for volunteers to improve Parrot's build system. Lars Balker Rasmussen stepped up to the plate and offered a simple wrapper. Josh Wilmes seems to be somewhat sceptical about the whole endeavour, pointing at libtool as an illustration of the size of the problem.
Parrot is in the process of getting an
env PMC, for accessing
environment variables. Dan and Leo's discussion of the patch took in
iterators and the wisdom of caching values. In the end, Dan prevailed
and the environment PMC doesn't cache values.
"Yes, [there is some plan of how threading will work in Parrot]. (Though there's some disagreement [as] to the solidity and sanity of the plan)"
Dan went on to outline the plan.
Event handling appears to be the topic of the week. The consensus seems to be that getting it right is hard. Lots of people offered constructive suggestions and/or problem cases. I sat on the sidelines and trusted them to get it Right (a strategy which seems to pay off remarkably often, thankfully).
Damien Neil was rather less sure of the wisdom of Parrot's events and asynchronous IO model, arguing for a system based on threading. Dan was unconvinced. I don't think Damien was convinced either.
Luke Palmer had some problems with using continuation passing style subroutines in IMCC. Leo initially pointed out that IMCC didn't support CPS, then he fixed it so that it did (sort of, the user still has to do a chunk of the work, but sometimes that's a good thing).
In an example of synchronicity, Will Coleda had a similar problem. Leo's fix helped him too, and he went off to continue hacking on TCL. (It helps me too, I have this cunning plot you see...)
In last week's summary I wondered what Tupshin Harper was talking about when he suggested emulating a 'more traditional, stack-oriented processor'. This week, Tupshin wished that 'people had the decency to tell me how insane [the idea] is'. Dan obliged, telling Tupshin that he was insane (but he did it with a smile).
The problem boils down to GCC's assumptions about the 'shape' of the stack. GCC assumes a conventional, contiguous area of stack memory filled with stack frames. Parrot assumes a garbage collected chain of continuations, which is about as far as you can get from GCC's beliefs.
mrnobo1024 posted a patch to fix a minor niggle with Parrot_sprintf. Leon Brocard applied it.
Dan has started adding real classes and objects to Parrot. (Yay!)
Simon Glover found some bugs. (Not entirely unexpected)
Simon also sent in a patch fixing the bugs. (Yay! Yay! and thrice Yay!)
Brent Dax has started work on splitting core.ops up from being the second largest file in the Parrot distribution (108k) into a total of 10, rather more narrowly defined .ops files. Benjamin Goldberg wondered if this would be a good time for tidying up the parrot directory structure (at the very least, he called for moving the source files into a src subdirectory).
Dan asked for a volunteer to rough out a move plan coving which files move where and what the new directory structure would look like, which would allow the CPAN jockeys to rearrange things in such a way that the various files remember their histories.
Josh Wilmes posted a monster patch to unify the various copyright notices attached to the files in the parrot distribution. Everything is now (correctly) copyrighted by the Perl Foundation.
Somebody needs to set an Exegesis among the pigeons. There's all of 14 messages in there, and almost all of them are discussing the semantics of aliasing an array slice.
groups.google.com -- Alias those slices
I didn't quite understand what Dave Whipp was driving at when he
talked about overloading the
<ws> pattern as a way of doing
preprocessing of Perl 6 patterns. I didn't understand Luke Palmer's
answer either. Help.
Luke Palmer's been toying with Objective-C (And why not, it's a nice language) and would like Perl 6 to steal Objective-C's protocols. (Objective C Protocols are a little like Java's interfaces, but nicer.) I'm waiting for him to latch onto the idea of Categories which are Objective C's way of adding methods to a class. At runtime.
Discussion of Luke's proposal centred on a couple of his peripheral points, nobody's yet addressed his main point (but it looks like a decent idea to me).
First of all, I plead insanity for my mistake of last week's summary. PONIE does not stand for 'Perl On New Internal Architecture', it obviously stands for 'Perl On New Implementation Engine'. I'm very, very sorry and I'll try not to do it again.
Secondly, an announcement, I've started one of those punditry/bloggy things. It's at www.bofh.org.uk (Snappy URL eh?) and it's called 'Just A Summary'. I'm expecting it to concentrate on Perl and Perl 6 related issues, but at the time of this writing I've only got two 'real' articles up there so anything could happen.
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