The thing in my lay, and completely unqualified, perspective that parrot should have done different is target a HLL from day 1.
I agree, but remember that most of the reason that we're making such progress on tangential projects right now is that we have the Parrot compiler tools featureful and stable enough to allow us to build or port languages quickly.
I failed to mention that I doubt YAP6 is necessary.
It may or may not succeed, but the people who are working on it might not work on Parrot or vice versa. Concurrent evolution and exploration might not be the most efficient use of global resources, but there's rarely a central planning agency that can convince everyone to go in the same direction.