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chromatic (983)

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Sunday November 16, 2008
01:40 AM

A Roadmap from the Parrot Developer Summit

[ #37889 ]

I'm at the Parrot Developer Summit this weekend, with Allison, Patrick, Jerry Gay, Klass-Jan Stol, Stephen Weeks, Kevin Tew, Jonathan Worthington, Jeff Horwitz, and Abhijit Mahabal. Our main goal was to create a roadmap toward production-ready releases of Parrot.

One of my early suggestions was to define a single-sentence vision for each milestone release.

Our tentative plan (to which we all agreed) is to continue monthly releases indefinitely. Language implementors can (of course, as currently) track our trunk, or our monthly releases, but we've decided to produce two milestone releases each year which represent a good stable point on which to host a language.

Our plan is to produce the first of these milestone releases in March and the second in July. Subsequent milestone releases will occur ever six months: January and July. Here's our vision list for the next six milestone releases:

  • March 2009: a stable API for language implementors, and the point at which we believe Parrot is an attractive platform to begin implementing languages, at least for people who don't want to track our trunk.
  • July 2009: integration and interoperability, the point at which we provide the next generation of tools to make implementing languages even easier.
  • January 2010: production readiness, the point at which Parrot is ready for your business.
  • July 2010: portability, the point at which we branch out beyond our three core platforms to other devices and systems.
  • January 2011: independence, the point at which Parrot is independent of the last remnants of non-Parrot build systems.
  • July 2011: magical wishlist items, the point at which Parrot supports wonderful exotic features that many other virtual machines may never support.

We're concentrating our efforts on the March release. Our schedule is aggressive, but it's workable. (We invested two hours in two agile planning exercises to identify, prioritize, and cluster features into the six milestones we've identified.) There's plenty of work to do, especially for novices and interested neophytes. In particular, we could use people to help us identify missing documentation and to ensure that it's clear and appropriate -- not to mention people interested in running tests, triaging bugs, and learning how to use the system.

We'll have more to say in the coming weeks, but I think you'll be very impressed at our progress over the next couple of releases.

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