This Week on Perl 6, Week Ending 2004-09-17

Another week, another summary, and I’m running late. So:

This week in perl6-compiler

The current state of the compiler

Discussion of the current state of the nascent perl 6 compiler and how best to contribute to its development even before code has been released continued. The best way to contribute right now is “Write tests”. Don’t worry about what the test harness should look like; simple tables of rules, test strings and expected matches will be very welcome.

The status discussion also touched on how to handle different languages in the closures embedded in rules.

Bootstrapping the grammar

Uri Guttman had some thoughts on bootstrapping Perl 6’s grammar. He hoped that his suggested approach would enable lots of people to work on the thing at once without necessarily getting in each other’s way. Adam Turoff pointed everyone at a detailed description of how Squeak (a free Smalltalk) got bootstrapped.

Synopsis 5 updated

Larry announced that he has updated Synopsis 5, which covers Grammars, rules and all that good stuff. It’s now only a week out of date instead of two years and counting.

This week on perl6-internals


Discussion of Dan’s namespace proposal really got going this week.

Buffered IO and Parrot Forth

Matt Diephouse fell afoul of a problem with IO buffering when he was taking a look at Parrot Forth, so he asked the list for help. Leo supplied the help, so Matt supplied a patch to Parrot Forth which made it print its prompts correctly when run under modern (CVS) Parrot.

Pragma @LOAD is not always honoured

Stéphane Payrard was bemused to discovered that parrot routines declared with the @LOAD pragma don’t automatically execute if they’re in the main segment. He suggested that the issue be either fixed or documented.

Leo documented it.

NCI basics

Charles Somebody tried to crash the monomonikered big leagues by failing to vouchsafe his surname when he posted a question about getting NCI to work with wxWindows. For reasons that escape me, the answers (and, indeed, Charles’s surname — Lowell) appeared in a different thread.

Sadly the answers were more along the lines of “Oops, that’s a bug that is, we’ll add it to the RT queue”. Still, better to have it identified than festering away undiscovered.


Who says Perl 6 is the only language that’s taking a long time to appear on Parrot? Amir Karger posted his first annual update on his attempt to get Parrot to emulate the Z-machine. Hopefully subsequent updates will be more frequent.

Meanwhile, in perl6-language

Ordinals, Hashes and Arrays, oh my!

David Green had some thoughts on Perl 6’s compound data structures. Larry didn’t sound convinced.

Writing pack, or something like it

Michele Dondi wondered how to write pack-like functions in Perl 6, where the first argument is a string which specifies the signature of the rest of the function call. The proposal stumped me, but maybe you all can make something of it.

But is it intuitive?

No it isn’t.

S5 Grammar compositions

While peacefully reading Synopsis 5 (Rules & Grammars), Dave Whipp noticed that grammatical inheritance wasn’t as flexible as the Role based compositions that can be used when working with classes. Larry wondered allowed about having grammar roles, but I don’t think they’ve been officially mandated yet…

Still about subroutines…

Michele Dondi continues to make my head hurt with zir proposals. In part it’s because I’ve still not worked out whether zie is male or female, and in part because, well, zir proposals are challenging. In this particular proposal zie wondered if there would be a way to magically write recursive anonymous functions without having to introduce a new symbol of some sort.

Luke and Larry think there will be such a way, but the precise syntax hasn’t settled just yet.

Range quantifier woes

Jonathan Scott Duff wasn’t happy with the new range quantifier syntax in Synopsis 5. He posted a bunch of questions that were nagging at him. Larry had some good answers (if you’re interested in contributing to the design of Perl 6 you should really read Larry’s replies).

Announcements, Apologies, Acknowledgements

And so ends another summary. I hope you liked it. Sorry for the delay if you’re reading this on the mailing list; this teacher training malarkey is remarkably tiring.

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