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Parrot 0.0.2 is released

Simon Cozens
October 5, 2001 16:00
Parrot 0.0.2 is released
Message ID:
    "Not long now," said Mr Beaver, and began leading them uphill across
    some very deep, springy moss (it felt nice under their tired feet) in
    a place where only tall trees grew, very wide apart. The climb, coming
    at the end of the long day, made them all pant and blow. And just as
    Lucy was wondering whether she could really get to the top without
    another long rest, suddenly they were at the top. And this is what
    they saw.

    They were on a green open space from which you could look down on the
    forest spreading as far as one could see in every direction---except right
    ahead. There, far to the East, was something twinkling and moving. "By
    gum!", whispered Peter to Susan, "the sea!" 
    In the very middle of this open hill-top was the Stone Table.

                                 - "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe",
                                                                  CS Lewis

For little over the past three weeks, our motley crew of developers have
been, uh, beavering away implementing more of Parrot's features, and working
specifically on increasing its portability. As well as complete rewrites of
the assembler, including macro capability and better support for string
constants, we've now got a user-friendly mini-language, Jako, to save you all
from writing assembly code. 

We've added a testing framework, better documentation for the assembly
language, and, to assist new developers, we've tried to reduce the number of
intimidating Perl5-isms in the source. 

Best of all, however, we've draft up a list of core platforms which we
guarantee Parrot will run on, (that doesn't exclude other platforms, of
course) and Parrot 0.0.2 has built and passed its tests on all of these:

   Linux (x86)
   OpenVMS (Alpha)
   Solaris (Sparc)
   FreeBSD (x86)

While Parrot 0.0.1 was a proof of concept, Parrot 0.0.2 should show that
we're serious about supporting a wide range of platforms.

You can get the source tarball in (currently) two different ways:
    From CPAN:
               (once the mirrors have updated)

    From CVS:  See the Parrot CVS home page at

Once you've unpacked parrot, you should be able to run "" and
"make test_prog", and then run some tests:

    make test_prog
    make test

Special kudos is due to Gregor Purdy for this release. Gregor not only created
the Jako language, but he also did most of the arduous work of leading us
uphill across the springy moss of alignment - that is to say, he has taken the
lead in reworking the bytecode-reading code, and moving the floating-point
constants out of the bytecode stream and into the constant table. It was a
horrific hill to have to climb, and Gregor pulled us up most of the way.

There's nothing special about Gregor, however; your name and credits could be
here if you help us out with Parrot 0.0.3.

And speaking of Parrot 0.0.3, what are we planning for the next release? Early
on in development, I set the condition that 0.0.2 would only be released when
it built on all the core platforms. For 0.0.3, I hereby declare that it will
only be released when we have PMC scalars implemented. This may seem
intimidating, but I believe we can get this done within two or three weeks.

So that's the road ahead. For now, however, play with Parrot on whatever
plaform you desire. Write programs in Jako, and help us implement PMCs. Above
all, have fun.

If you improve anything, patches should be sent to the perl6-internals mailing
list, where I, and my motley crew of CVS committers, will take a look at them
and apply them to the CVS tree. 

Happy hacking,

set      S1, "Just Another Parrot Hacker, "
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