[Purdue-pm] The Perl 6 Summarizer: This week's summary

Mark Senn mark at ecn.purdue.edu
Tue Jul 20 15:43:41 CDT 2004

I've been getting these weekly Perl 6 summaries for a long time.
They are the most efficient way I know of to stay up-to-date on Perl 6.
Thought you might be interested.
According to the mail header email
    perl6-announce-subscribe at perl.org
to sign up.   -mark

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Subject: This week's summary
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Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 14:46:18 +0100
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The Perl 6 Summary for the week ending 2004-07-18
    Following last week's bizarrely dated summary (I misplaced a day) we're
    back with the correct week ending date, but I'm ashamed to admit that
    I've slipped to writing on a Tuesday again. My head hangs in shame and I
    am filled with the direst remorse.

    It will probably happen again though; life's like that.

    Anyone would think that the possibility of not even being able to run
    the Piethon benchmark (let alone getting a pie in the face for running
    it too slowly) weighs heavily on Dan.

    The bulk of the week's traffic related to getting to the point where we
    can at least run all the tests.

    Python::Bytecode, the module that parses, well, python bytecode, shot up
    in version numbers; I think it reached 2.7 by the end of the week.

    Dan released a Piethon translator, a tool that uses Python::Bytecode
    translate python to parrot. So has Leo. Dan's is on his website (see the
    link below, you'll find Leo's in languages/python/pie-thon.pl).

    http://xrl.us/chh9 -- Parrot runs a python lambda

    http://xrl.us/chia -- Notes on pie-thon.pl

    http://xrl.us/chib -- Namespaces for builtins

    http://xrl.us/chic -- Dan's translator

  Semi-stack code
    In a quest for speed when emulating python's stack manipulation ops, Dan
    outlined a plan for manipulating a pseudo stack using some of Parrot's
    PMC register (18-29, with P31 used for overflow). Leo wasn't convinced
    it was needed.


  "string_to_num" precision
    Leo's got some problems with the precision of the "string_to_num"
    function found in string.c. He doctored things to use "atof", but Dan's
    not so keen on that idea because "atof" doesn't have standard behaviour
    across platforms. He recommended grabbing Perl 5's string to num code
    (which he thought we'd already done). Nicholas Clark wasn't convinced
    that this was a good idea; he reckoned that Perl 5's code wasn't good
    enough. I think Nicholas convinced Dan that "atof" is actually the right
    thing to use (with a little preprocessing to deal with C99's "atof"
    being incompatible with C89's -- Parrot expects C89 behaviour).


  GMP Licensing
    Armin Obersteiner reported his investigations into the licensing
    requirements of the GMP maths library. It appears that the FSF's 'GPL
    Compliance Engineer' reckons we won't need to include the GMP's source
    code with binary distributions. We just have to make it available from
    the same source as the distribution. Which is handy.


  Parrot configuration -- a small perl task
    Leo asked for volunteers to fix up Configure.pl in order to make it less
    dependent on the host Perl's configuration. Brent Royal-Gordon provided
    a teeny-tiny patch that's actually shorter than Leo's description of the


Meanwhile, in perl6-language
  Scalar subscripting
    Remember Guatam Gopalakrishnan's question about subscripting scalars?
    Discussion continued. One Piers Cawley (who he?) suggested that it
    should be possible to specify a "postcircumfix:[] is rw" method in the
    String class to make string subscripting behave in a helpful fashion. He
    also suggested pulling this (and other similar behaviours) out into a
    Sequence trait. Juerd thought the proposed method name was a little
    verbose compared to Ruby's syntax for doing the same thing and showed
    off some rather pretty Ruby metaphors.

    Another subthread discussed interpolation in strings. Larry's changed
    his mind so that "$file.ext" is now interpreted as "$object.method". You
    need to do "${file}.ext" or ""$( $file ).ext"". Or maybe "$«file».ext"
    by analogy with "%foo«bar»". James Mastros pointed out that "." is
    rather ambiguous in a literal string; sometimes a full stop is just a
    full stop.


  Pushing lazy lists
    This thread continues to resemble the lists it is nominally discussing:
    Infinitely long and possibly endless.


  Perl 6 and Parrot Essentials, 2nd Edition
    Leo pointed us at an O'Reilly press release announcing that the second
    edition of *Perl 6 and Parrot Essentials* is available. Huzzah! Let joy
    be unconfined.


  Rules to match abbreviations
    Hans Ginzel wondered wondered about adding something to the rules system
    to easily match specified abbreviations of a string. Luke Palmer came up
    with a (pretty ugly) solution which he then wrapped very neatly in a


  Enhancing "open"
    There's a good deal of mileage to be had talking about how to improve
    the "open" function it seems.

    Larry continues to come up with new and interesting ways of designing
    the language in such a way that almost every decision about how to do
    something can be deferred. Speaking as someone who wishes he could just
    write "Application.new.run" and then debug his way to working code, I'm
    all for this kind of late binding.

    It's also amazing how much use Larry's getting out of his colon. (The
    character, obviously).


  Cartesian products and iterations
    Michele Dondi wondered whether Perl 6 will support Cartesian products
    between lists. Short answer: "Yes". It's probably called "outer".


  Do we really need filehandles?
    Dave Whipp thought the unthinkable (but in a good way) and wondered if
    we actually *need* user visible filehandles give the tools we have for
    slicing and dicing strings, manipulating lazy data structures, etc. He
    proposed being able to write:

        my $text is TextFile("/tmp/foo.txt");
        for $text.lines -> {

    Which is rather neat isn't it? Personally I'm not sure we can get rid of
    filehandles, but I do like the idea of a library that implements
    something like this. Alex Shitov pointed out that there would still be a
    need for methods like "$text.flush()" or "$text.close()".


Announcements, Apologies, Acknowledgements
    Okay, so the interview was on Tuesday 13th of July. It went well; I'm
    going to be a maths teacher.

    If you find these summaries useful or enjoyable, please consider
    contributing to the Perl Foundation to help support the development of
    Perl. You might also like to send me feedback at
    mailto:pdcawley at bofh.org.uk

    http://donate.perl-foundation.org/ -- The Perl Foundation

    http://dev.perl.org/perl6/ -- Perl 6 Development site
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