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acme (189)

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Leon Brocard (aka acme) is an orange-loving Perl eurohacker with many varied contributions to the Perl community, including the GraphViz module on the CPAN. YAPC::Europe was all his fault. He is still looking for a Perl Monger group he can start which begins with the letter 'D'.

Journal of acme (189)

Saturday July 09, 2005
05:06 PM

Summer of Code: Open Sourcing Perl/Java Integration

[ #25609 ]
The Perl Foundation took part in Google's Summer of Code program and managed to get 8 projects funded. This is the first in a series of informal interviews finding out more information about these projects. First up is David Rusek with "Open Sourcing Perl/Java Integration".

Hi there! Tell us a bit about yourself, including age, where you are a student and what you are studying
I am 24 years old and I will be beginning my graduate studies in CSE at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in the fall. I graduated from U-M in 2003 and have been living in my home state of NJ for the last two years working IT for a large financial company. I can't say I'd ever want to return to my current job, or if it'll even be there when I'm done with school for that matter, but, without it I would've never met so many talented Perl hackers and gotten the idea for this project.

You've had a Google Summer of Code project funded. What will you be doing? How will you be doing this? What's the final product?
The main point of this project is to integrate Perl and Java in a more efficient way while taking full advantage of some of the more recent Open Source Java innovations. The idea is to completely open source the Java/Perl integration space and eliminate the need for third party JVMs. Therefore, my biggest tool in this whole project will be GCJ. I pretty much have two major things I'd like to achieve in the end. The first is to allow a person to use a tool like SWIG to XS wrap a Java class just like they would a C++ class. Secondly, I plan on making a "Java::Import" module that'll allow a Perl coder to use a Java class in their program just like they would any other module.

How did you get interested in this topic?
I got interested in this topic through a project at work where we were trying to integrate various components written in Perl with others written in Java. We tried using the currently available set of tools but none worked out for us. The project at work was eventually scrapped but I couldn't get it out of my head so I started thinking about alternatives and that's where I came up with this latest idea.

Where do you see your project going after this summer?
Ideally I would like to see people get interested in this project and pick it up as something they'd like to contribute to. I guess that's the hope of any open source project, that you can create and release something that others will find valuable enough to use and extend. I guess only time will tell though; It all depends on what I produce.

Is there any way to track your progress over the next few months? Got a blog?
Right now there's pretty much only one way to track my progress and that's via my blog. The address is Once I have a place to put my code I'll make a post on the blog.

Did you expect to get funded?
I never in my wildest dreams expected that I would get funded. I was not at all prepared to see the email from Google with the subject line of "Congratulations!" In fact, I didn't think I got anything at first until I checked my junk mail filters (Thanks Thunderbird). I was just about floored when I saw that email.

Got a silly fact about yourself or the project?
I've never been really good with the old "silly fact" question. If you knew me you might think I was silly :)

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