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Re: How to Sell Perl 6

by hardburn (Abbot)
on May 04, 2004 at 13:24 UTC ( #350329=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to How to Sell Perl 6

IMHO, the Next Big Thing in the Perl community isn't actually Perl, but Parrot. This isn't necessarily because it's easy to interface with other languages. In fact, some companies will, at best, completely ignore that feature. My current employeer rejected one of my proposals that used XML for a small database on the basis that XML would be one more thing our developers have to understand. I don't think they'll be keen on the idea of interfacing with a half-dozen languages that are actually Turing Complete.

What Parrot will allow is the creation of simple domain-specific languages. We can get around companies like my own by "marketing" this as simply "Parrot skills" instead of listing off all the mini-languages being used. This is a massive simplification of the truth (though I wouldn't call it an outright lie), but PHBs already do that a lot.

If Parrot becomes big in this regard, then there will be a large demand for people who can write compilers for these little languages. This is not something I've done much of (name a parser: Bison, yacc, Parse::RecDescent, whatever else--I probably haven't ever touched it), but it's something I'm trying to learn now. Even if this predicted explosion in a need for compiler-writers doesn't happen, at least I've learned something new along the way.

: () { :|:& };:

Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

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Re: Re: How to Sell Perl 6
by Elian (Parson) on May 04, 2004 at 15:41 UTC
    What Parrot will allow is the creation of simple domain-specific languages.
    Not just domain specific languages, but transition paths from dead-end languages as well. You write a compiler for the old language that targets parrot and rewrite the runtime library code for it, and then you're in a position to start migrating. That's what I'm doing now for work.

    Granted, this isn't the right answer in all cases--rewriting a runtime library to maintain compatibility can be a major undertaking. In many cases, though, it's easier to write a new compiler for an existing code base that targets a back end with more potential than it is to port the entire code base to a new language. (Writing compilers and their associated runtimes is a lot of work. Rewriting full application systems are often significantly more work, though, with more risk and expense)

    I'll put the ObPlug here for part one of an article I wrote for OnLamp about this, but targeting parrot's not that tough.

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