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Allison (3003)

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Human (I think).

Journal of Allison (3003)

Thursday July 07, 2005
06:34 PM


[ #25576 ]
I'm pretty terrible at writing in my journal regularly. Partly, I work insane hours (on a combination of paid and volunteer projects). Partly, I'm just a quiet person (I used to be painfully shy, but I seem to have mostly grown out of that). But, I would like to do better. I suspect the image that TPF and Perl 6 are "secretive" is partly my fault. It's not that there's anything to hide, just that we're not very good at making sure the information gets broadcasted. So, if you have any questions about TPF or the Perl 6 project (or O'Reilly books, for that matter), email me at allison {at} perl (dot) org, and I'll try to give sensible answers here in my journal.

I'll start with one subject. It's a rough paraphrase of some questions people asked me at YAPC::NA:

What is Pugs?

Pugs is a prototype compiler for Perl 6. It's currently written in Haskell, but is being ported to Perl 6. It's not intended to be a complete compiler from Perl 6 source to executable code, it's a compiler targeting a virtual machine: Parrot, CLR, Mono, JVM, etc. In fact, there's a good chance it'll target all of those.

What do you think about Pugs?

I think Pugs is incredibly cool. I remember when I first heard about it: Leo and Nick and I were at the German Perl Workshop. Leo pulled out his laptop and showed us some Perl 6 code running. I was so excited I immediately downloaded it and compiled GHC to play with it, and then used it for a demo in a talk the next week.

Will Pugs be the production implementation of Perl 6?

Autrijus has asked us not to treat Pugs as a production system. It may sound strange at first, but I think he's absolutely right. It gives the Pugs team a lot of flexibility to experiment without worrying about the results. It's called "R & D" in the corporate world, and is probably the biggest source of technological innovations in all large companies.

But will Pugs code ship in the production release of Perl 6.0? I don't know yet. It partly depends on the speed, robustness, and maintainability of the final code (which is not something the Pugs folks need to be thinking about right now). Whatever the relationship in terms of lines of code, the work being done in Pugs will certainly have a significant impact on the final form of the Perl 6 compiler. What I think is most likely is that the final compiler will be a synthesis of ideas between Pugs and the Parrot compiler tools. To be postmodern about it: the production implementation of Perl 6 both is and is not Pugs.

Pugs isn't a TPF project?

I'm not exactly sure what that means. There isn't much of a difference between "TPF projects" and "non-TPF projects". They're all groups of volunteers working on stuff for Perl. Pugs uses (i.e. TPF) mailing lists and IRC servers. I suppose when you boil it down to brass tacks, all it really means is that the code isn't being contributed to TPF; it's copyright Autrijus Tang. That's okay. It means we'd have to do a little legal legwork to incorporate Pugs code into Perl 6, but it's not a big deal.

Would TPF consider funding Autrijus for Pugs?

Absolutely. IIRC, he has said he doesn't want to be funded. But, if not Autrijus, we would happily fund any of the other Pugs developers.

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  • It's wonderful to see this post. With leo and you both journaling, the visibility of Perl 6 development will be much enriched.

    A small nitpick, lest people stumble into an empty channel -- Pugs's IRC server is #perl6, not The social atmosphere of freenode is of communication between various language/project communities, which is methinks essential to Perl 6 in general and Pugs in particular.

    As for funding, I've said in PA01 that it would be more helpful to donate time to

    • Pugs's IRC server is #perl6, not

      Righto, thanks for the correction.

      As my six-month sabbatical is drawing to a close soon, I'd certainly welcome sponsorship, from TPF or other places.

      You hear that folks (especially the company who asked me about it at YAPC)? Get cracking. :)

      Even better if we can get a round of public review for the current beta of Artistic license, so CPAN authors and other Pugs hackers can help improving it.

      That's the plan (as I mentioned

    • The social atmosphere of freenode is of communication between various language/project communities...

      Huh...I thought it was the IRCOPs sending 14-line global messages every half hour (followed immediately by another 1d4 to correct typos in the original) in order to beg for money or apologize for decoupling Europe while in a drunken stupor.


  • Lots of details and good points about the whole secrecy thing (took 20 minutes), but then accidentally closed the window and lost it. Crap. So here's the questions in point form. Don't interprate it as agression. - Given the Summer of Code projects have started, why can't we see what they are beyond a title. - What on earth is "Extended Type Inference System for Perl 5" and should I care or help out? - For the benefits of people like the Java::Swing authors that have decent Perl/Java integration working
    • errr... wrong formatting option. might want to view as source. hating not being able to edit after posting. :(
    • Too much to reply to all at once. I'll split it out over several journal posts.

      BTW, thanks again for the PPI grant, I'll be done on Tuesday (you can call Ovid off now).

      Thanks for doing your part of making grant results public by writing up a follow-up article []. This is a responsibility of all grant recipients, but far to many of them just drop off the face of the planet after the grant is "finished" (it ain't finished 'til ya' tell folks it's finished), even with Ovid's wonderful skills at hounding p

  • How has ponie been doing? I can't seem to find much recent news about it. Is it still alive? Has there been any progress? Where can I get a copy? I hope it's not dead, it was an interesting idea.
    • Ponie is progressing, athough progress seems to be stalls then jumps, even when the effort is applied smoothy. A development snapshot was released a couple of weeks ago, announced in Allison's state of the carrot at YAPC::NA. I sent an announcement to the ponie-dev mailing list, and it's also waiting in the use.perl story submission queue [] for a use.perl editor's tender loving care.

      Details of what's new are in the README [], and you can also view the most up-to-date version of the Roadmap [] in the subversion rep