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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)

Monday July 18, 2005
11:31 AM

Summer of Code: Compiler/Optimizer Improvements to Parrot

[ #25765 ]
The Perl Foundation took part in Google's Summer of Code program and managed to get 8 projects funded. This is the seventh in a series of informal interviews finding out more information about these projects. Up now is Curtis Rawls with "Compiler/Optimizer Improvements to Parrot".

Hi there! Tell us a bit about yourself, including age, where you are a student and what you are studying
My name is Curtis Rawls, and I am a 24-year-old graduate student in Computer Science at North Carolina State University. My areas of interest are in compiler technology, natural language, and interactive narrative. Also, I am working as an intern this summer for HP.

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?
My project is to make improvements to the optimizing portion of the Parrot compiler (the future VM for Perl6). There are a lot of areas that need attention and improvement in the optimizer, such as implementing SSA form, register allocation, various small optimizations, and of course documentation. I won't have a "final product" per se; all my changes get commited as they are completed. My goal is to get as many improvements done as I can in the time allotted. : )

How did you get interested in this topic?
I came across the idea of working with Parrot while searching for a project for a compiler optimization course I took this spring. While I didn't end up working with it for my class, I decided to lend a hand to use what I had learned in my schoolwork.

Where do you see your project going after this summer?
This is an "open-ended" project, which can also be translated as "never-ending". : ) A lot of my efforts will be geared towards facilitating future changes: SSA form is a base for a lot of interesting optimizations, and documentation is the best way to get other people involved and up-to-speed quickly.

Is there any way to track your progress over the next few months? Got a blog?
I don't have a blog for this project at the moment. I work with the other Parrot developers on the perl6-internals mailing list, so all my patches, questions, and utter confusion are on display there.

Did you expect to get funded?
I had no idea. The Summer of Code project is quite new, so there was no standard of reference. I hope the Perl SoCers will set some high standards for the program in the future! : )

Got a silly fact about yourself or the project?
I had already intended to work on Parrot in my spare time this summer. Getting funded is great because now I have some incentive (pressure?) to finish all my objectives.

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