Parrot is a virtual machine designed to efficiently compile and execute bytecode for dynamic languages. Parrot currently hosts a variety of language implementations in various stages of completion, including Tcl, Javascript, Ruby, Lua, Scheme, PHP, Python, Perl 6, APL, and a .NET bytecode translator. Parrot is not about parrots, though we are rather fond of them for obvious reasons.

Breakpoints...Again

While I feel like I got a lot of work done today, this past week was unfortunately much like the last: frustrating. Implementing breakpoints has turned out to be a lot more...interesting...than I had expected. And to what do I owe this great frustration? Why IMCC of course! For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, IMCC stands for "I Make Coders Cry."

Here's why:

A very simple algorithm for creating a breakpoint would look like this:

1. User enters command breakpoint 12
2. Store line number 12 somehwere
3. Run code

Parrot-GMP: Yo dawg, heard you like generating code...

Step 1 for my project involved reading GMP.h and generating an NCI definition file from that. I've tweaked a few settings in the unimaginatively named "gmph2ncidef.pl" script that does that and refactored some common parts out in to YAML configuration files. This generates a PIR source file that gives us access to the GMP library functions.

1+2. And objects!

Finally done with exams, yesterday was my last. Ever, hopefully. So I had time to do some work. You can find it at either http://bitbucket.org/lucian1900/puffin or http://github.com/lucian1900/puffin. I pull from bitbucket, but push to both.



GSoC 2: Keeping Up the Pace

Today will be very brief. I'm a bit tired as my holiday weekend was very busy.

May 30 PAST NQP Framework: Convert PAST into NQP-based files via Q:PIR constructs. This will involve splitting Node.pir into separate files for each class, providing a NQP structure for each sub and updating the build framework.

As I noted a while back, I did this in the first couple of days of work. I'm now into the process of hunting down Q:PIR blocks and replacing them with NQP (using pir:: where needed).

Parrot-GMP: Step #1 complete

I've just finished step one of the project: minimally parsing the header gmp.h and generating an NCI definition file that is readable by the script ncidef2pir.pl. I'd definitely like to refactor this script into separate modules (with tests and docs) and make it usable for the larger community, but for now it suffices for the project.

Parrot-GMP: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Good evening fellow parroters,

My blog posts will become increasingly technical as time goes on and if you're not into that kind of thing, then TL; DR - I'm working on it.

Still here? Good.

The main idea behind my project is to get usable bindings for GMP integer functions into Parrot. The GMP library is a good choice because it is free (as in beer and as in speech), stable, actively developed for 20 years, and generally fast: there are all kinds of optimizations for different architectures and compilers that there is absolutely no reason we should re-invent the wheel.

Breakpoints, Take 2

Since joining the Parrot development team, I've been forced to forget just about everything I thought I ever knew about stack machines, computer architecture, and especially control flow. In fact, I think a more appropriate slogan for Parrot would be "the antithesis of tradition." This is not necessarily a bad thing though. If it weren't for Parrot, I probably would never have heard of things like continuation passing style or mark and sweep garbage collection systems.

Starting, sort of

Sadly, exams have proven to take up more time than expected. Today's exam was ok, easier than I expected. Also easier than previous exams from this lecturer. At least my last exam is on Wednesday, so after that I'm free.



I have however managed to do some investigative work.

GSoC 1: On Your Marks, Get Set

Wait, why are you running already?

May 24 GSoC Start Date

Technically, the Summer of Code starts today. But since school was finished last week, I started digging in early. My blog last Friday had a few mini-goals in it:

  • Examine current state of nqp_pct: Bacek's work here is contained in the compilers/pct/src/POST directory. The format and design of these classes are in large part what I'm basing my new work on.

GSoC 0: School's Out For Summer

But it's not out forever. Alice Cooper lied to me. However, with my final final behind me I can now begin to dig into Parrot code!

One of the requirements for Summer of Code is a weekly blog posting. For future weeks, I intend to post on Monday or Tuesday so that my post is ready prior to #parrotsketch. Although GSoC has yet to officially begin, I thought I'd create a "week 0" post to work out a format for them and discuss my plans in general. I thought I'd start each post with the stated deadline from my proposal:

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