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Perl 6 Design Minutes for 30 June 2010

Posted by chromatic on 2010.07.03 3:13 (#40433)
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The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 30 June 2010. Allison, Patrick, and chromatic attended.

Allison:

  • working on Parrot packages for Debian experimental
  • seems like a good idea to do that before the 2.6 supported release
  • there was also a request for Rakudo packages
  • not sure if I'm the best person to do it

Patrick:

  • I'm sure we should package Rakudo Star

Allison:

  • Debian had a packager for those, but I haven't looked at the packages
  • this'd be an early run of what we'll do with Rakudo Star

Patrick:

  • we're not quite ready for packaging that yet
  • maybe a couple of weeks
  • finished the List and Iterator types for the #30 release
  • adjusted Rakudo's Associative and Positional roles
  • much cleaner implementation now
  • that'll require a few small spec changes
  • redid Rakudo's container types
  • more robust
  • preparing for autovivification of hashes and arrays
  • expect to finish those in the next couple of days
  • there was no container model previously; the code was consequently crufty
  • lots of cleanup of incorrect assumptions
  • Rakudo lists are now properly lazy
  • comment syntax fixed
  • ROADMAP updated
  • fixed the meaning of Nil; it's defined, not undefined
  • added the sink prefix (?)
  • fixed setting of $!
  • started fixing bugs and closing tickets on Monday, did 15 or 20
  • mostly already fixed in the previous couple of weeks
  • looking at the implementation of the series operator
  • spec is self-contradictory or ambiguous or both
  • waiting for Larry's clarification
  • fixed a bug in $*ARGFILES
  • had a nice contribution of that implementation last week
  • that behavior works on any set of files, not just those on the command line
  • working on autoviv
  • have some regex backtracking bugs to fix
  • will work on closures after that
  • put together three new YAPC presentations
  • the Rakudo Star presentation will become a video cast or a blog post or both

c:

  • worked on a slew of Parrot optimizations for Rakudo
  • have a few more to go
  • might have to create a Rakudo branch temporarily
  • will try to help merge the new GC
  • working on a metamodel for Parrot objects, informed by Perl 6 and Moose

Modern Perl: The (Draft) Book

Posted by chromatic on 2010.06.28 18:43 (#40423)
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This took longer than I expected, but the draft of the Modern Perl book is available for review. I'm especially interested in hearing from people who don't consider themselves expert Perl 5 programmers. The goal of the book is to explain how Perl 5 works (and how to write Perl 5 effectively) to help novices become adepts.

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 16 June 2010

Posted by chromatic on 2010.06.26 12:07 (#40419)
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The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 16 June 2010. Larry, Allison, Patrick, Will, and chromatic attended.

Larry:

  • documented TOP (again), and explained how parsing is initiated and how it actually works
  • series operator (...) now picks a monotonic function when using single characters as endpoints
  • STD can now catch duplicates involving protos as well as onlys
  • STD no longer advises removal of parens on spaceless sub() declaration
  • mostly advised sorear and pmichaud
  • Stefan is finishing the boostrap of the STD parser
  • also working on adding a parallel NFA and DFA engine
  • no, he doesn't want to generate all the states in advance
  • it works faster lazily

Allison:

  • working on chroot environments with something more secure than chroot
  • relevant to building Parrot packages
  • looking at some bugs for Will

Patrick:

  • Rakudo developers decided not to make extra special effort to make a June release of Rakudo Star
  • the calendar works against us
  • the new date for the release is July 29
  • we're I comfortable with hitting that target
  • we won't be happy with the results of moving heaven and earth to release in June
  • there are lots of advantages
  • one disadvantage is not having Rakudo Star at YAPC::NA
  • one big advantage is using the supported Parrot 2.6 release as the basis
  • I'll write a post outlining the plan in the next couple of days
  • otherwise working on lists and interators in Perl 6 and Rakudo
  • after deciding to make iterators immutable, Larry and I realized that solves many problems
  • everything works out as plain as day after that
  • very happy with that design
  • the incorrect assumptions of the old model were pervasive
  • replacing the old pieces is taking a while, which is no surprise
  • this approach feels right though
  • the new branch does things no previous version could do
  • slices work much better, for example
  • metaoperators work properly
  • map is lazy
  • slurpy arguments in lists are lazy by default
  • no weird binding or action at a distance problems
  • plenty of changes to Associative and Positional roles
  • those are now super clean and may be lazy
  • more features work
  • ~30 failing tests (not test files, just tests) now, ~500 last night
  • most of the current failures are minor
  • will try to merge the branch before the release
  • replacing lots of ugly code with fewer lines of elegant code
  • Jonathan and others have worked on lots of other pieces
  • adding plenty of new features
  • looking forward to tomorrow's release

c:

  • editing the Rakudo book
  • moving the Rakudo release date may let us have a printed book available about the same time
  • depends on how much there is left to write

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 09 June 2010

Posted by chromatic on 2010.06.24 7:24 (#40415)
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The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 09 June 2010. Larry, Allison, Patrick, and chromatic attended.

Larry:

  • not much spec change this week
  • figured out a syntax for a regex block to return more than one cursor
  • based on gather/take
  • in STD hacking, continued to assist Stefan O'Rear in getting STD bootstrapped via viv
  • now that it's bootstrapped, we're refactoring things that make sense now
  • we're now starting to move bits of Cursor code from Perl 5 into Perl 6
  • refactoring the grammar for sanity of design
  • started upgrading STD to normal Perl 6 syntax where it previously catered to gimme5's limitations
  • for example, switched STD's old .<_from> and .<_pos> hash lookups to using .from and .pos accessors
  • started the prep work for moving EXPR out of STD to make it generally available to any grammar wanting operator precedence
  • in STD parsing, made Perl 5 $< detection have a longer token to avoid confusion with match variables
  • STD no longer attempts two-terms detection on infix_circumfix_meta_operator
  • STD now parses >>R~<< correctly, or at least dwimmily
  • STD doesn't complain about P5isms in printf formats like "%{$count}s"
  • STD was parsing /m and /s with the opposite semantics
  • termish now localizes $*MULTINESS in its scope so that inner declarations aren't accidentally multified
  • STD now carps about package Foo; as a Perl 5 construct

Allison:

  • talked to Chris Shiflett, a PHP developer, on someone from the PHP community to sit on the Parrot board
  • will be in the US for a few weeks

Patrick:

  • working on list simplification
  • had a couple of breakthrough ideas on Monday
  • working on the implementation now
  • worked out inversion lists for character class matching in regexes
  • will make them faster, especially with long ranges of character classes
  • fixed a half-dozen tickets in RT
  • fixed Rakudo hash constructors
  • fixed an intermittent bug with colon-pair signatures
  • two possible parses exist in STD, but we removed an unneeded one in Rakudo
  • fixed a bug with Parrot's exit opcode
  • NQP and PAST needed an update not to cheat with PASM constants
  • I fixed that too
  • Vasily added multisub and multimethod support to NQP, that was a big plus
  • fixed the ** quantifier in regexes to understand surrounding whitespace
  • regex engine tried to match beyond the end of a string, so I added guards for that
  • will work on lists furiously before the next release
  • I don't think it'll take long
  • closures are next, hope to have those in place by the weekend

c:

  • released a new version of Pod::PseudoPod::LaTeX to support the various books in progress

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 02 June 2010

Posted by chromatic on 2010.06.21 20:12 (#40410)
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The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 02 June 2010. Larry, Allison, Patrick, Will, and chromatic attended.

Larry:

  • mostly, I supported sorear in bootstrapping STD to use viv instead of gimme5
  • his stage 2 and stage 3 now output identical Perl 5 versions of STD
  • produces a huge amount of warnings
  • appears to require Perl 5.12 at the moment
  • working on both of those
  • S03 refines hyper dwimminess to be more like APL, with modular semantics
  • S02 refines Blobs to simply be immutable Bufs, with similar generic characteristics
  • S02 now describes native blob types
  • implemented post-declaration checks for BEGIN and use, since those can't wait for end of file
  • STD no longer loses existing bindings when we go to a sublanguage
  • STD now uses $*GOAL variable only as informative, never as a "stopper"
  • instead, we create a <stopper> rule for $*GOAL if necessary
  • can check for that only, instead of that or $*GOAL
  • answering lots of questions on how STD and viv work besides that

Allison:

  • did a lot of research on graph color algorithms for register usage algorithms
  • will finish my finals on Monday

Will:

  • trying to herd the discussion of dynop libraries
  • a recent branch to close an old ticket broke a lot of assumptions
  • some bugs have become more visible because of these changes
  • hope to get that cleaned up this week

Allison:

  • I liked your suggestion of bringing back the getstderr and related opcodes

Will:

  • trying to resurrect Partcl
  • stuck on a TT #389 closing issue
  • not sure how to fix that, the way things are now

Patrick:

  • working on the iterator and list design
  • brainstorming the implementation
  • will implement somethine one way or another this week
  • people keep implementing workarounds for the current system
  • they'll bite us eventually
  • Moritz and I worked on making the regex engine returning real Perl 6 objects
  • that mostly works
  • exposes some places where lists don't work exactly right
  • the workarounds there made me replan the list and iterator implementation
  • answered some questions online
  • Jonathan added a better backtrace algorithm for Rakudo
  • reports Perl 6 source lines instead of PIR lines
  • I'll review his code
  • think I can borrow it for NQP for all HLLs
  • Jonathan reports that it was a lot easier in NQP than PIR

c:

  • trying to answer a few Parrot design questions
  • looking at the continuation of design from Perl 1 - 4 to Perl 5 and Perl 6
  • hope to have coding time soon

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 26 May 2010

Posted by chromatic on 2010.06.20 14:40 (#40408)
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The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 26 May 2010. Larry, Allison, Patrick, Will, and chromatic attended.

Larry:

  • :() syntax is now always signature
  • we now use foofix:[...] as the general op form instead of foofix:(...)
  • refactored the sematics of :nth and :x
  • :nth() now only ever takes a monotonically increasing list
  • S03 now explains how "not-raising" works on != and ne
  • it now basically matches the intuitions of an English speaker via HOP definition of negate metaop
  • STD sometimes didn't require semi between statements
  • statement modifiers are expression terminators but not valid statement terminators
  • an unexpected statement modifier word like if could terminate one statement and start another
  • fixed up backslashes in character classes to allow \s etc and reject \u etc
  • STD was accidentally using the same lexpad for different multis
  • Cursor now treats :() on name extension as a signature always, never as a categorical
  • we shouldn't introduce the stopper for circumfix until we're in the circumfix, or we can't use the same char on both ends
  • placeholder messages error messages are now much more informative and correct
  • we now disallow use of placeholder after same variable has been used as a non-placeholder, even for an outer reference
  • renamed add_macro (which it doesn't) to add_categorical (which it does)
  • participating frequently in discussions on semantics both on irc and p6l
  • working closely with sorear++ as he brings viv closer to bootstrapping, yay!
  • soon can bootstrap past gimme5

Allison:

  • worked on Pynie this week in my limited spare time
  • one goal is to generate the parser directly from the Python grammar
  • wrote a small, lightweight PEG parser which generates a match tree from the Python 3 grammar
  • can generate a lexer directly
  • right now it creates a parse tree
  • looks similar to the match nodes of NQP-rx
  • dumps out a tree to the PIR parser
  • working on PaFo elections for next year, but trying to delegate those
  • will have more time after June 7

Will:

  • working on Perl 6 advent tests
  • many more people are doing more work than me
  • liasing with Rakudo folks for any important Parrot bugs before the Rakudo Star release
  • my current direction there is "don't break anything"

Patrick:

  • sorear added hash flattening to NQP
  • lots of work on closures in PAST and NQP
  • they properly clone
  • fixes some lexical problems
  • need to get that to work in Rakudo
  • that's tougher; Rakudo has to wrap Parrot subs
  • wrapper object needs cloning as well, along with its attributes
  • we'll add a new PAST node type to help
  • that node understands contexts
  • essentially a way to add void context optimizations to your AST
  • that solves many problems in Rakudo beyond closures
  • added a setting into NQP along with its test suite
  • not automatically loaded, but available
  • contains standard hash and array methods
  • Parrot's ops2c project uses those
  • other people can update and enhance that setting as necessary
  • NQP also has the ability to parse type names
  • NQP doesn't do anything with them yet
  • eventually they'll allow the use of multis
  • cleaning up some NQP bugs regarding lexicals and package storage of subs
  • Bruce Keeler enabled variable interpolations in regexes
  • working on some refactorings to simplify that approach
  • works in NQP and Rakudo now
  • that's a feature we've never had before
  • Rakudo's REPL now works better, thanks to sorear
  • HLLCompiler now written more in NQP as part of that
  • NQP now can do eval
  • NQP remembers lexicals in interactive mode now
  • adding that to Rakudo is more complex
  • working on that
  • pleased with the progress on #perl6

c:

  • reviewing long term plans for GC and Lorito
  • should have more time free soon

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 19 May 2010

Posted by chromatic on 2010.06.16 16:38 (#40401)
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The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 19 May 2010. Larry, Will, and chromatic attended. Patrick added his notes later.

Larry:

  • S03 makes more explicit that doctrine that ~~ topicalizes, and removes smartmatch table fossils that automatically fall out from that
  • S05 renames 'accent' to 'mark' for better Unicode conformance
  • :a and :aa changed to :m and :mm
  • S05 disrequires retroactive semantics on :samecase and :samemark
  • the method form must now explicitly add case or mark modifiers to the pattern
  • regularized mm// to ms// to avoid confusion with new :m ignoremark option
  • STD now does a bit better at diagnosing bogus ??!! constructs of various sorts
  • STD now correctly adds operators to symbol tables as subs
  • CORE.setting now has protos of all the operators so they can be recognized as subs too
  • Cursor now canonicalize operator names in the symbol table
  • btw, not quite like specced
  • STD now reads user's mind on 'Str $toto' to intuit missing declarator
  • STD now properly diagnoses a typename between routine declarator and sub name

Will:

  • working on code for Carl Masak, trying to get his poker code example running on Rakudo
  • both fun and frustrating
  • some stuff doesn't quite work yet
  • going through the Advent examples
  • adding them to spectests
  • make sure we won't regress on such public examples
  • other people are helping with that now

c:

  • will get back to editing the Rakudo book soon
  • hope to have it in print by YAPC, but no guarantee

Patrick:

  • fixed closures in NQP, as a precursor for fixing them in Rakudo
  • worked with sorear on REPL in Rakudo and PCT in general
  • ported the NQP "standard library" done by japhb++, bacek++, and many others into the nqp-rx repository and made it part of the standard build sequence for nqp and Parrot
  • decided we need a new "context sensitive" node type in PAST, will be used to create proper closures and to handle sink context
  • worked with bacek on adding better multimethod support to PAST and nqp-rx
  • discovered a problem with lexical subs in NQP being automatically entered into the package namespace (and some existing code relying on this behavior)
  • did some initial fixes to at least get things entered properly, but a complete fix may require a deprecation cycle
  • plan to review others' patches this week
  • plan to fix REPL, closures, and sink context in Rakudo (since those are currently large pain points)
  • plan to work on loops and iterators after that

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 12 May 2010

Posted by chromatic on 2010.06.15 20:47 (#40400)
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The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 12 May 2010. Larry, Allison, Patrick, and Will attended.

Larry:

  • clarified usage of brackets around infixes
  • added various 128-bit types to the spec; we might make them arbitrarily extensible via role
  • at least LLVM could support this, even to non-powers-of-two sizes
  • modernized the paleolithic grammatical category description in S02
  • STD now uses double-quote rules for interpolating @foo[] into regex
  • STD now gives better message on 1__3
  • added the specced 128-bit types to CORE.setting
  • added minmax function to CORE.setting
  • implemented circumfix:«X Y» as grammar derivation
  • currently only allows a >> inside
  • now also recognizes foofix:("\x[face]") and foofix:("\c[YOUR CHARACTER HERE]") without actually evaluating
  • playing with factoring yaml out of gimme5, since viv is not likely to go that route.
  • mostly just answered a lot of questions on irc
  • egged people on about concurrency issues

Patrick:

  • thought on handling closures properly
  • have a solution, just need some time to implement
  • discussion on changes to CodeString
  • work on compiler toolkit to avoid CodeString, using StringBuilder instead where possible, in PCT, NQP, and rakudo. Pretty easy, no downstream projects block on a deprecation issue
  • after that, lists
  • also been answering questions on interactive mode (REPL) for rakudo et al. (the issue with losing lexicals)

Allison:

  • resolved the git conversation pretty well (for Parrot's repo migration)
  • worked on a pure PEG parser (following the paper), straight PIR, single day; now self-parsing. Interesting project, is lightweight. currently has memoization, but that might not be right for us because of backtracking. With some more effort, could probably handle EBNF form (useful for python)
  • could be setup for developer status for Debian which will improve our packaging status for Debian and Ubuntu

Will:

  • Parrot CodeString performance improvements
  • we're definitely faster in branch, but some feedback from pmichaud should help us clean up the API a bit as well, look for those to hit trunk in the next few days
  • Parrot makefile deps cleanup

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 05 May 2010

Posted by chromatic on 2010.05.10 1:07 (#40351)
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The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 05 May 2010. Larry, Allison, Patrick, Will, and chromatic attended.

Larry:

  • various spec updates, some major
  • removed p5=> description because it's not supported in core
  • deleted self:sort construct because self isn't a real syntactic category
  • explained Perl patterns in terms of PEGs, and spec'ed tiebreaking rules explicitly
  • last but not least, finally purveyed the long-threatened revamp of proto to keep routine and method semantics similar
  • they all now work much more like the multiple dispatch semantics currently used by STD, where we always call the proto first
  • the proto is then always in charge of the actual multiple dispatch; it can of course delegate that
  • and the default for a null body corresponds closely to current semantics
  • in hacking news, the lexer generator mislaid any alternative that was a bare . pattern, so cursor_fate never called its alternative, oops
  • took me a long time to run that one down, because it resulted in a horrendous backtrack causing mysterious misplaced errors
  • revamped character class parsing to be more helpful and correct
  • STD now check a normal regex bracket's innards for old-school character class, and warns if found
  • added a .looks_like_cclass method to Cursor to detect most accidental uses of P5 ranges
  • some valid P6 brackets will complain, but the workarounds are easy
  • just put whitespace on both ends is one way
  • removed a few of these old-school-ish character classes from STD
  • changed :tr language to :cc language since character classes share it
  • (translation pays more attention to ordering, but the language is the same)
  • turned out parsing character classes discovered issues in STD; various character classes needed to backslash # that would otherwise be a comment
  • to that end, we now allow \# in character classes instead of misparsing as unspace
  • if we find an invalid - in a regex, we now presume we're in an old-school character class and fail with a sorry instead of a panic to give the character class code a shot at it
  • STD now uses ~ syntax for regex brackets to set $*GOAL correctly
  • cleaned up recursive panic detection; it was possible to get both false positives and negatives before
  • STD shouldn't use 'note' to emit a panic inside a suppose because that leaks the message that should be trapped
  • STD now suppresses duplicate sorry messages more correctly
  • sorry no longer uses panic in a supposition, but dies directly to throw the exception to the suppose's try block
  • STD now allows subscripts on regex variables so $x[0] isn't taken as a character class; still needs speccing

Patrick:

  • can we make them consistent?

Larry:

  • historically S05 has allowed bare arrays to mean interpolation

Patrick:

  • we've never had a working implementation of that

Larry:

  • a bare @ would be illegal

Patrick:

  • it's currently illegal

Larry:

  • you'd have to backslash it to match part of an email address
  • it's not like the @ alternations are a big deal one way or another
  • that'd be a little more consistent
  • I forced it to think of the sigil as $ than what it really is

Patrick:

  • after seeing how Jonathan et all did interpolation for quoted strings, I thought we should do the same thing in regexes

Larry:

  • STD now has a partial fix to prevent leakage of ::T from role signatures
  • unfortunately, the current fix will lose signatures of file-scoped generic roles
  • this probably has to do with not knowing whether we're really going to want a new pad; unfortunately we'd have to look ahead to know that currently
  • various other minor tweaks and bug fixes in STD and Cursor

Patrick:

  • mostly responding to messages and reports
  • should be able to get back to coding full-time and online for the next week
  • plan to resolve the list and closure issues with NQP and Rakudo
  • will answer other questions and try to keep other people productive
  • planning for the Rakudo Star release on June

Allison:

  • busy with the last week of classes
  • spent most of it writing a little language with PCT
  • it was easy to use and easy to swap the stages of PCT
  • I remembered what Patrick did with LOLCODE
  • also had a discussion of source code control systems
  • next week should be more productive
  • need to work more closely with Debian packagers to get packages into Debian

Will:

  • cleaning out as many deprecations in Parrot as possible
  • trying to improve the speed of CodeString after the immutable STRINGs merge
  • bundling lots of little concats helps
  • hope to merge in an optimization branch for that by the weekend
  • want to make that faster or less memory intensive
  • may require the use of a new StringBuilder for Parrot
  • hopefully will result in a faster Rakudo build

Patrick:

  • I've never seen CodeString take a long time
  • unless you run into memory problems
  • * discussion of the StringBuilder PMC *

c:

  • still working on optimizations, particularly CodeString
  • looking at more PBC and PBC-building optimizations
  • PBC size went down dramatically and startup improved for Rakudo
  • should have that much faster for the 2.4 release
  • will poke at GC tasks starting next week

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 28 April 2010

Posted by chromatic on 2010.05.01 19:27 (#40338)
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The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 28 April 2010. Larry, Allison, Jerry, Will, and chromatic attended.

Larry:

  • caught up on a week's worth of backlog
  • made a few spec tweaks
  • discussed them with other people
  • trying to make error messages more awesome in STD
  • working on the ability to parse the insides of character classes
  • STD doesn't like parsing itself recursively there
  • need to iron out a few things
  • enum names can now be variables

Allison:

  • Debian packages ready to ship to Debian sponsors
  • putting together a list of GC tasks
  • cleaned out the existing page, have the big things listed
  • trying to decide which tasks to do first
  • doing a lot of reading and research
  • my little language project is due on Monday
  • HLLCompiler was enormously useful
  • will start working on the GC stuff next week
  • should also start a fresh pass through the ticket queue
  • added a workaround for the final remaining TT #389 bug
  • Jonathan had a test case

Will:

  • tried to focus on getting Rakudo blockers removed

c:

  • spent some time getting Rakudo to work with trunk
  • will need a Rakudo guts hacker for the last part
  • worked on the compact_string revamp branch with Vasily
  • merged now
  • that makes trunk about 12% faster than the 2.3.0 release
  • will work on a few Rakudo profiles once it works with trunk again
  • expect at least a 5% performance improvement there
  • have some other ideas, but won't do them without profiling first
  • came up with a scheme to reduce PBC size by coalescing strings
  • Peter Lobsinger is exploring that