|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
Wanted: Perl 6 Programmersby educated_foo (Vicar)
|on Sep 05, 2002 at 05:29 UTC||Need Help??|
Do you ever lay awake at night, wondering what it would be like to program in Perl 6? Has your "_" key (Our New Operator of Concatenation) been feeling unloved? Do you want to be an "opinion leader" in the adoption of a new programming language? If you answered "yes" to one or more of the above questions, you may be just the kind of person we're looking for. While it is still a long ways from being useful for real programming tasks, Parrot's prototype Perl 6 compiler now supports a decent enough subset of the language that it's now possible to write interesting, non-trivial programs. We need both testers and users, and this is where you come in.
You will find compiler bugs. In some cases, we'll do our best to fix them; in others, we'll just document their existence -- this is a prototype, and is not intended to be complete. However, the features it does implement should be consistent with the Apocalypses and Exegeses. If you are feeling ambitious, you might even want to chase the bug into the compiler, which is written in Perl 5. While documentation is sparse, there should be enough to get you started in languages/perl6/overview.pod, and if there is not -- that's a bug, too. Let us know what is unclear and we'll do our best to clarify.
You may find Parrot bugs. Parrot is, after all, alpha software. If you are feeling adventurous, you may wish to look into the virtual machine, which is written in C.
You may also find ambiguities, surprises, or irritations in the language itself, which might not have surfaced from reading Damian's and Larry's code. While there's a lot of history behind Perl 6 (see the mailing list archives at http://archive.develooper.com/), the language has had relatively few actual users. Finally, you may find idioms for common tasks in Perl 6 which can be shared with potential Perl 6 speakers. For example, this in Perl 5:
may be written more naturally in Perl 6 as
If this sounds interesting to you, we'd love to have you aboard. The latest release (0.0.8.1) is available on CPAN. The latest code is available via anonymous CVS at :pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvs/public in the parrot directory. Once you have the source, the compiler prototype can be found in languages/perl6.