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milardj (4452)

milardj
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Journal of milardj (4452)

Tuesday January 04, 2005
10:34 AM

Is Parrot going to self-destruct?

[ #22560 ]

IMO the most important project in the perl world currently is Parrot. I love what I am seeing Perl6 evolve into (well most of it anyway) but it is Parrot that could evolve into the "killer" platform of the next decade.

I read quite a few technical blogs and it is amazing how much movement there is towards dynamic languages. The number of heavyweights who are extolling the virtues of Python and Ruby is pretty impressive.

I really see a great future for dynamic languages in the next decade and Parrot, if it is successful, could become the de facto standard.

Note the qualification. Will Parrot be successful? I'm starting to have my doubts. I could just as easily see the project flame-out in acrimony.

In the past month or two I've sometimes found it painful to follow the internals list because:

a) the same arguments are repeated endlessly
b) the animosity between the lead developers
c) the general black tone of some posts

I think part of the problem is that Dan has been pretty much out of touch for the last while. That's no slam against Dan because I have nothing but admiration for people working a full time job and essentially working a second full time job (Parrot) for the benefit of all of us. But I do believe it is hurting the project.

What is needed IMO is a clear roadmap of what is remaining, what is the design for what is remaining, what is the precedence and dependencies for the remaining tasks. This might exist already but if it does I see no evidence that it is being followed.

Does anyone have a good feel for where Parrot is in terms of completeness? Anyone else share my uneasiness with the interpersonal dynamics of peope working on the project?

I feel a bit hypocritical for sitting back and pointing my finger at the problems when I'm doing nothing to help on the project but I truly want parrot to succeed and I'm starting to wonder if it will.

NOTE: by "succeed" I mean widespread adoption by Ruby, Python et al developers and not simply a Perl6 VM.

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  • I have the same feeling. The lead developers really need another chance to meet in person (Maybe Sam and Leo should go skiing together in Austria :). I for one would be willing to give my 2 cents to pay for flights, etc.