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Summary for the week ending 2005-04-12

From:
The Perl 6 Summarizer
Date:
April 12, 2005 12:31
Subject:
Summary for the week ending 2005-04-12
Message ID:
m2oecj4z6n.fsf@obelisk.bofh.org.uk
The Perl 6 Summary for the week ending 2005-04-12
    Whoa! Deja vu! Where'd Matt go?

    Don't worry, Matt's still writing summaries. As you may have noticed,
    Matt's been writing summaries every two weeks. And now so am I. Because
    we love you, we've decided to arrange things so I write summaries in the
    weeks when Matt doesn't. We could do it the other way, but that could be
    seen by some as self-defeating. Heck, when I say 'some' I probably mean
    'all'.

    So, bear with me while I remember how to type all those accented
    characters and get back into the swing of writing these things (and of
    reading everything in the mailing lists once more -- someone should
    write a summary for us summarizers...)

    I'll be sticking to my old 'lists in alphabetical order' scheme of
    writing summaries. So, let's get going

This week in perl6-compiler
  Array of arrays, hash of hashes, elems, last
    Lev Selector asked for confirmation that Pugs didn't support compound
    data structures, "@ar.elems" or "@ar.last". Autrijus and others
    confirmed that they didn't then, but they do now.

    <http://xrl.us/fq99>

  MakeMaker6 stalls on takeoff
    Darren Duncan pointed out that, whilst last week's summary had claimed
    he was working on implementing MakeMaker in Perl 6 which is, sadly not
    the case. He reckoned he'd possibly look into it again when he had tuits
    and Pugs was more complete (supporting objects, for instance).

    <http://xrl.us/fraa>

  Declaration oddness
    Roie Marianer pointed out what looks like some weirdness in Pugs'
    parsing of lexically scoped subroutines. Warnock applies.

    <http://xrl.us/frab>

  Toronto pugs hackathon
    John Macdonald asked for people who wanted to come to the YAPC::NA pugs
    hackathon to get in touch with him beforehand as spaces there are
    limited. If you're interested, drop him a line.

    <http://xrl.us/frac>

  Pugs slice oddities
    Andrew Savige noticed some weirdness in pugs's slicing behaviour. He
    posted some example code showing the problem. Autrijus agreed that there
    was a problem and explained that he was in the process of rewriting all
    the variable types, symbol tables and casting rules to agree with the
    Perl 5 model as described in perltie.pod. The rewrite is currently
    failing tests, so he posted a patch for people who want to play. On
    Sunday, he bit the bullet and committed the entire 2500 line patch which
    'touches pretty much all evaluator code'.

    <http://xrl.us/frad> -- Autrijus's patch

    <http://xrl.us/frae> -- Autrijus on the patch

    <http://xrl.us/fraf>

Meanwhile, in perl6-internals
  Tcl, Unicode
    William Coleda has been trying to add Unicode support to his TCL
    implementation and he fell across issues with missing methods in
    charset/unicode.h. Leo waved a magic wand and checked in an
    implementation which he fenced about with disclaimers.

    <http://xrl.us/frag>

  The status of Ponie
    Nicholas Clark confessed that Ponie had been pretty much stalled for
    some time, but sweetened the pill by announcing that it's about to
    restart and that he would be able to allocate at least one day a week to
    the project. He pointed people at the Ponie roadmap which breaks down
    the required tasks between here and a first release, complete with time
    estimates. If you're interested in getting Ponie to a ridable state,
    this would be a good place to start.

    People were pleased.

    <http://xrl.us/frah> -- Ponie intro/roadmap

    <http://xrl.us/frai>

  Monthly release schedule
    Chip donned his "Fearless Leader" hat and announced that, effective,
    Parrot would be moving to a monthly release schedule (with an initial
    three week 'month' to get things into sync). There was some debate about
    whether Solaris/SPARC should be one of the officially required monthly
    release platforms (darwin, linux-x86-gcc3.* and win32-ms-cl were Chip's
    initial blessed three). This morphed into a discussion of Tinderbox;
    apparently there are cool things happening behind the scenes.

    <http://xrl.us/fraj>

  Calling convention abstraction
    What do you know? You go away for n months and when you come back people
    are *still* talking about calling conventions.

    <http://xrl.us/fram>

  Dynamic Perl, Part 1
    William Coleda announced that he was starting work on removing the
    core's dependence on Perl* PMCs in favour of using language agnostic
    PMCs internally and loading the Perl ones dynamically as required.
    Everything but PerlArray was dealt with quickly and names and ways
    forward with that tricky case were discussed. It looks like we're going
    to have a 'ResizablePMCArray' added to the core once people have the
    tuits.

    <http://xrl.us/fran>

  Subversion
    Another discussion that wouldn't go away back when I was last writing
    summaries has come to a head. Parrot's finally migrating from CVS to
    Subversion. By the time you read this, Parrot's main repository should
    be at http://svn.perl.org/parrot. Hurrah!

    There were, of course, wrinkles to be ironed out.

    <http://xrl.us/frao> -- Getting started with subverted Parrot

    <http://xrl.us/frap>

    <http://xrl.us/fraq>

  The imcc/ subdirectory
    Matt Diephouse wondered if, now that IMCC has been integrated with
    Parrot, we really needed the imcc/ subdirectory. He suggested that maybe
    its contents should be distributed about the rest of the parrot
    directory structure. MrJoltCola (Melvin Smith?) thought it was best kept
    separate and thought of as a front end. Bernhard Schmalhofer pointed out
    PAST, another Parrot frontend and suggested that it may make sense to
    refactor imcc/main.c into (he suggests) src/main.c and imcc/frontend.c,
    which would make the distinction rather clearer and provide an
    opportunity to clean up the exported symbols. Leo pretty much agreed
    with Melvin (no comment on Bernhard's suggestions yet though).

    <http://xrl.us/frar>

  Perl jobs for the willing
    Leo looked for volunteers to rejig t/src/manifest.t to use .svn/Entries
    instead of CVS/Entries when checking the MANIFEST. Michael Schwern
    (possibly accidentally) volunteered.

    <http://xrl.us/fras>

Meanwhile, in perl6-language
    A quick note about notation. I've started borrowing notation from
    Ruby/Smalltalk to discuss methods. Where I write SomeClass#method, then
    I am referring to an instance method of SomeClass and where I write
    SomeClass.method I am referring to a class method.

  Identity tests and comparing two references
    By heck but I've not been keeping up.

    I started understanding what was going on when people started talking
    about implicit dereferencing of long chains of references. Larry's
    saying that even if $foo is a reference to a reference to a reference to
    a... to "10" then $$foo will chase all the way along the reference chain
    and evaluate to "10". The general response seemed to be "Wah! How do I
    make it not do that?".

    <http://xrl.us/frat> -- how to help Larry

    <http://xrl.us/frau>

  "say" what?
    Ovid wondered if "say" (and "print" come to that) should default to
    printing the current topic. An initial hunt through the Perl 6 documents
    proved to be 'like trying to sip through a firehose', so he asked the
    list. And dropped a heavy hint about indexing the docs.

    According to Luke, it should default to the current topic.

    <http://xrl.us/frav>

  Blocks, continuations and eval()
    Wolverian's been looking at the Perl 5 debugger and wondered if it would
    be possible to add an eval method to objects that represent scopes. The
    idea being that

       $scope.eval 'say $foo'

    would evaluate "say $foo" with all of $scope's bindings etc in place (I
    wonder what "$scope.eval 'return'" would do...). At least, that's what
    *I* think he meant. Others asked for clarification. Wolverian also
    wanted to know how to get hold of a scope's continuation (or at least
    the current continuation). Larry has in the past said that he wouldn't
    be exposing continuations in the core language. Others have noted that
    it wouldn't be beyond the bounds of possibility to write a Parrot level
    module which would expose them though.

    <http://xrl.us/fraw>

  Questions on "$pair.kv"
    Stevan Little had some questions about the behaviour of Pair#kv method.
    Luke came through with the answer (when all else fails, consider the
    pair to be a one-element hash'.

    <http://xrl.us/frax>

  Managing PLEAC
    Prompted by a suggestion from Tim Bunce, Ovid started porting the
    examples in the Perl Cookbook into idiomatic Perl 6. He asked for
    comments and suggestions on how to proceed.

    Marcus Adair proposed, and Luke Palmer strongly seconded, moving the
    development of the code onto a mediawiki (wikipedia) style Wiki which
    has good support for 'offline' discussion of code as it's developed.
    Autrijus reckoned that his current practise of handing out SVN committer
    bits to anyone who expressed an interest and leaving discussion in the
    files themselves seems to be working pretty well so far. He pointed at
    pugs.kwiki.org though.

    <http://xrl.us/fray>

    <http://xrl.us/fraz>

  Collaborative Synopses
    Bryan Ingerson posted a preliminary cut of Synopsis 26 and asked for
    comments. Yuval Kogman pointed out that the docs subdirectory of the
    pugs distribution is filled with documentation that needed proofreading
    and nitpicking. Go to it people.

    <http://xrl.us/fra2>

    <http://xrl.us/fra4>

  Aliasing swapped values
    Ovid wondered what

        ($x,$y) := ($y, $x)

    would do.

    Juerd reckoned the answer is straightforward, and I must say I agree
    with him.

    <http://xrl.us/fra5>

  String#chars in a list context
    Marcus Adair argued that it seems natural that String#chars, when used
    in a list context, should return a list of the Unicode chars in the
    string. Opinion seemed to favour the idea, but there's been no ruling
    from Larry (or anyone else on the Design Team).

    <http://xrl.us/fra6>

  Whither "use English"
    David Vergin wondered if Perl 6 would have an equivalent of "use
    English", which would give sensible names to the various magic globals
    (those that hadn't been otherwise eliminated at least). Answer: Yes and
    No. There will be no English.pm module, but the magic globals will all
    have English names by default.

    <http://xrl.us/fra7>

  Heredocs and their workings
    Marcus Adair wondered about the use of Heredocs as positional
    parameters. Luke confirmed that they should work just like they do in
    Perl 5, modulo minor matters of spelling (they're now spelled
    "qq::to/END/" etc...) and whitespace removal.

    <http://xrl.us/fra8>

  Slicing conflict
    Luke pointed out that

        my @a = (1,2,3,4);
        my @b = @a[1...];
        say +@b;

    is potentially problematic (he argues it should print out '3', but Perl
    5 semantics imply that it should print 'Inf'). He proposed breaking with
    the Perl 5 way. Autrijus agreed with him and has implemented his
    proposal in pugs.

    <http://xrl.us/fra9>

Coo... that was fun, I think I'll do it again some time.
    If you find these summaries useful or enjoyable, please consider
    contributing to the Perl Foundation to help support the development of
    Perl.

    <http://donate.perl-foundation.org/> -- The Perl Foundation

    <http://dev.perl.org/perl6/> -- Perl 6 Development site

    Or, you can check out my website. Maybe now I'm back writing stuff I'll
    start updating it.

    <http://www.bofh.org.uk/>

    Vaguely pretty photos by me can be found at:

    <http://xrl.us/frba>

    And that's quite enough shameless self-promotion. See you in two weeks.




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