Sunday, May 31, 2009

The promises of Parrot?

I own both Parrot / Perl 6 books. I'm totally aware that they're totally out of date now, but I'm curious how much of the "original" ideas are going to hold on?

1. If you have a "Python" library, can you compile that to parrot bytecode, and then import that into Perl6 transparently and use it transparently in your Perl application?
2. Is the garbage collection system going to support a fallback "reference counted" system? Perl seems to have a "constant" burn (when it comes to memory management) that doesn't hiccup like Python, Java or .NET seems to have (without some tuning of course).
3. Will we ever be able to truly "compile" a Perl application into a binary (without statically linking the entire Parrot system into the executable?)
4. Guys that I work with claim that Parrot will fail to "be the best" because it's not based on LLVM, and because everyone else (Google, with unladen swallow) is playing the "Not invented here" card, instead of helping out Parrot. Competition is good, but it seems that Parrot / Perl has NO friends out there, did somebody burn some bridges or something?


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  2. Regarding #4, Perl does have friends, it's just that we're all very busy. I also blame the PHP and Python crowds for doing a lot of damage to Perl's reputation with the constant badmouthing and arrogance (which I interpret as jealousy).

    Unfortunately the masses tend to "glob" on to gossip and related nonsense because it's easier than taking the time to verify facts, thus this is a social problem.

    But don't worry, there is a lot of Perl 5 development going on, and the consistent activity in both shows that the community is very much alive and active.