January 06, 2010

Seven Days between the Parrot and the Camel

from Monday, December 28 in the year 2009 to Sunday, January 4 in the year 2010

Considering the Language:

Larry Wall updated Synopsis 1, explaining the spiral, cooperative, and convergent design process of Perl 6. He emphasized that Perl 6 will be anything that passes the official test suite owned by the community. The spec will not be frozen prematurely: Specced features should be considered conjectural until they have been proven in an implementation. The rate of convergence is, according to Larry Wall, an emergent property, and cannot be forced, but only encouraged by cooperation.

The standard Perl 6 grammar will be able to parse a well-behaved subset of Perl 5. Implementations will only be required to support this subset.

Considering Rakudo:

Apart from continued core setting work by David Romano and Moritz Lenz, the ng branch remained mostly silent. Stephen Weeks added a first draft of a new Failure class. Jonathan Scott Duff renamed break/continue to succeed/proceed.

The master branch learned :l for checking whether a file is a symbolic link (contributed by Heikki Mehtänen).

Considering Parrot:

In the one_make branch, Will Coleda is working towards a single top-level makefile that includes submakefiles instead of invoking make recursively. Some of the required dependency cleanups already propagated to the trunk.

Vasily Chekalkin created the boehm_gc branch on which he integrated the Boehm-Demers-Weiser garbage collector into Parrot as an alternative to the default mark-and-sweep collector. Results so far suggest that the Boehm GC — being a conservative GC — turns out slower than Parrot's primitive but exact GC that knows about the internal structure of Parrot objects.

Peter Lobsinger and Kevin Tew continued work in the pmc_freeze_cleanup branch that aims at cleaning up and unifying PMC freeze/thaw serialization and packfile reading/writing. They were already able to eliminate the need for EXTRA_IS_PROP_HASH. The prophash handling is now contained in a single function and plans are to move it to default.pmc.

James Keenan merged the branch for removing Parrot_ex_calc_handler_offset back to trunk.

Vasily Chekalkin applied a patch by Jimmy to use UINTVALs to store the number of Parrot registers.

François Perrad added Forth to smoke_languages.pl.

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