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Minimal Useful Perl (Was Re: Directions of perl 5 development)

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Jesse Vincent
July 24, 2010 13:53
Minimal Useful Perl (Was Re: Directions of perl 5 development)
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On Sat 17.Jul'10 at 13:14:00 -0700, chromatic wrote:
> Implementing the most common 80% of Perl 5 in NQP should be straightforward.

There's no reason that a Perl 5 variant on another runtime would necessarily
need to be bugward compatible with the existing implementation, so long
as the compatible subset and important deviations were well documented and tested. 
While perfect source compatibility would be a lovely eventuality, a
small Perl on other useful runtimes is much more plausible.

It would be a fascinating exercise to actually spec out which notional
20% of the language is the "hard to implement in anything other than
the CPerl runtime" part.

It seems fairly obvious (to me) that a plan like this wouldn't involve
any attempt at C API compatibility. I suspect that we'd end up
with a much better idea of what sorts of internals really need good APIs
accessible from perl-land so that CPAN modules could still be usefully
insane, even if running in a very different environment.

If we had credible alternate implementations of Perl 5 being developed
on other runtimes, I suspect we'd have a lot of luck figuring out what
parts of Perl's syntactic history need to be....taken out back and shot
(lexically, only if "use v5.14") is declared, of course.)


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