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What will the Perl 6 interpreter be written in?

by ghenry (Vicar)
on Feb 27, 2006 at 11:05 UTC ( #532987=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
ghenry has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Dear Monks,

I know of Pugs and Parrot, but Pugs is an implementation of Perl 6, written in Haskell and Parrot is written in C. Does this mean the final version of the perl6 interpreter will be written in C, as that's what Parrot is? That's how I have understood it.

Apologies if this is blatantly obvious.

Gavin.

Walking the road to enlightenment... I found a penguin and a camel on the way.....
Fancy a yourname@perl.me.uk? Just ask!!!

Comment on What will the Perl 6 interpreter be written in?
Re: What will the Perl 6 interpreter be written in?
by dorward (Curate) on Feb 27, 2006 at 11:25 UTC
    The argument is still ongoing, with the camps split pretty much evenly between Java and Visual BASIC.NET. There are a few people wanting to use COBOL, but I don't think their advocacy is going to amount to very much.
      I still maintain that my suggestion of using MIX assembly and then building the hardware to run it on was dismissed without due consideration.
        Wait, I thought that the whole thing was going to be done in Verilog. What am I going to do with all of these FPGAs, and how am I going to get them out of the parrot's cage?
        Not so fast ! Fortunately, I have a MIX simulator + MIXAL assembler written in pure Perl 5, *just for this purpose*. Details here. (direct download link)
        You should see what they did to me after I proposed a Concurrent Intercal solution, bootstrapped from Ook. :-(
Re: What will the Perl 6 interpreter be written in?
by castaway (Parson) on Feb 27, 2006 at 12:28 UTC
    In Perl6 of course.

    C.

Re: What will the Perl 6 interpreter be written in?
by jonadab (Parson) on Feb 27, 2006 at 13:06 UTC
    The Parrot VM is written in C, because C is a good language for writing low-level things like virtual machines. The Perl6 compiler/interpreter will run on Parrot, and will be written in languages that compile for Parrot, cheifly Perl6. Pugs will be used to bootstrap it, by compiling the first versions of the compiler, until it is able to compile itself.
Re: What will the Perl 6 interpreter be written in?
by tirwhan (Abbot) on Feb 27, 2006 at 13:13 UTC

    This graph by audreyt, which summarises the Parrot compiler tools document may help clarify this question. As far as I understand, PGE (the topmost processor) is currently being written in PIR (one form of the Parrot "Assembler" language), everything "higher up" than PGE is supposed to be written in Perl 6.


    All dogma is stupid.
Re: What will the Perl 6 interpreter be written in?
by scmason (Monk) on Feb 28, 2006 at 00:04 UTC
    I have my own question: Is anyone else disappointed that Perl6 still seems to be more of a vague concept than reality? Perhaps this is not the case to those who are conceptually following its development, but I am more interested in using it.

    I heard Larry Wall and Damien Conway talk on it at Yet Another Perl Conference 3 or 4 years ago. I don't know what I was thinking, but I was under the impression that it would be in my hands in no time. I thought that Perl 5 would be obsolete by now...

    Is this just me?

    "Never take yourself too seriously, because everyone knows that fat birds dont fly" -FLC
      Yeah, I was hoping that Larry might have realized that this "community rewrite of Perl" isn't cutting it, and was secretly rewriting Perl to give us something that will just work, and not something that will try to run Lisp, Python, Ruby, .NET, Cobol, Brainfuck, etc.

      Of course I also hoped that K&R were secretly writing D to replace C and kill off (the abortion called) C++, and that never happened either.

      Unfortunately, as Perl6 flounders and seems like it will never happen, some people are jumping ship and going to lesser languages like Python. Sigh. Not me.

      I have been involved in quite a few projects which never went anywhere because the TODO list kept growing (mostly due to management and sales sluts), making completion impossible. I could be wrong, but it seems like Perl6 may fall into this category, for different reasons.

      Perl6 has the potential to be the language of the century, IMHO, but as long as it tries to be everything to everybody, it will never get done.

        I could be wrong, but it seems like Perl6 may fall into this category, for different reasons.

        I'll bite.

        What reasons?

        Feel free to refer to posts on p6l and p6i as well as status reports from Jesse Vincent, Luke Palmer, and Audrey Tang.

        some people are jumping ship and going to lesser languages like Python.

        Yes, I am one of those people it would seem. I dont want to start a flame war here, but, Perl 5's OO is simply no fun. Without real (logical) OO, it is difficult to sale Perl for extensive projects around my office. I have been Pythoning for the last couple of months and am growing fond of the language. Again, I do not want to start a flame war or be modded down for descenting, its just how things work in the real world. People around here are happy enough to use Perl 5 to 'script', but no one takes it seriously as a programming language capable of writing full scale programs that are extensible and maintainable. I do not fully share their view, but admit that it has its merits.

        "Never take yourself too seriously, because everyone knows that fat birds dont fly" -FLC
      Is anyone else disappointed that Perl6 still seems to be more of a vague concept than reality?

      I don't speak for anyone else who's actually done work to make Perl 6 a reality, but I sure wish we could have finished it for as little time and money and help we've had.

      I wouldn't call that disappointment; it's more a sober realization of how few resources the project has ever had.

        Okay, I just want to add, I think many people who use Perl, write small programs and scripts, and from the questions asked here, many of those struggle with seemingly simple tasks, like reading and writing to files, regular expressions, using a dbms engine with Perl, etc ...

        Writing a compiler, a VM, designing a language, obviously needs a lot more background information and education that is probably not availble with many people

        I think to even consider contributing to a language project, you have to read at least several books on automata theory, machine languages, infinite machine, compiler design. Books in those topics are usually huge and hard to read books and some of those topics requires background information themselves in certain types of math etc ... more reading, more big hard books

        So I am sure finding educated people willing to contribute is hard, or maybe you guys are not promoting the project to the right type of people (the right type might be PhD students and academics)

        Finally, maybe I am exagerating, maybe its not that hard, but to prove this, I think the project and the few resources working on it, may want to create documents what explain how people can easily aquire the skills necessary to contribute

        I am willing to be believe that there is a simple and logical explanation to do it.

        So maybe a year or two from now, you will have more people contributing throught a process of training!
        In the scheme of things, I wonder why a government like China or India doesn't see the bargain that lays before it and invest $3 million in getting it to a working level. With a pent-up labor force/population quite capable of using a great, free language, why not accelerate the birth of such a catalytic force?
      Well I too would like to have Perl 6 here today but since I'm not involved in the project and it is quite active I don't think I have a say.

      There was a recent thread about this somewhere which mentioned how many hours a week (a lot) were being spent on it. My impression of that thread was that they are taking time to do it right.

      However I also inferred (possibly faultily) that perl foundation like grants should be made, with industry or private support, to hire some of the top people on the project to work on it full time. I seem to remember that thread saying it could be done in 6 months if fully funded, while that may have been hyperbole, surely the perl community and Perl itself would benefit from more such grants.

      It seems many people want Perl 6 now, is there anybody actively soliciting funding or is this in fact such a difficult problem, and needing much discussion of design decisions, that it just can't be speeded up no matter whether money is available or not?

        I would just like to reply to myself for the record, I looked at the perl 6 mailing list (nicely linked from perl.com regularly) and saw the posts involved. It seems resources are lower than ideal but is clear from the thread that there are very sophisticated issues being considered, it is really still involving much theorization about what the language needs, and working out strategies, and so funding alone would not be sufficient. It is just a big, heroic job. Still however if there were funds they might indeed be put to good use.

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