"Do It for Python!"

Those who have known me for the past decade may be thinking, "Jim Keenan is a
Perl programmer. Why would he want anything done for Python's sake?"

The answer is:

  • "Parrot is a virtual machine aimed at all dynamic
    programming languages."
    (Our mantra.)
  • Jim Keenan is a member of the Parrot Foundation Board of Directors
    (President, even!).
  • Jim Keenan therefore has to be concerned as to whether or not there are
    active efforts to implement an important dynamic programming language like
    Python on the Parrot virtual machine.
  • Jim Keenan keeps running into people who are real Python programmers or
    active members of the Python community who are interested in
  • So Jim Keenan has to be concerned with what might motivate Python people
    to devote copious quantities of their free time to Yet Another Python
    Implementation -- this one on Parrot.

In particular, a certain Very Large Internet Company keeps hiring good Perl
programmers of my acquaintance and having them work in what is familiarly
known (correctly or not) as a "Python shop." Other Parrot folks either have
important roles within the Python community or have friends who have such

So the time has come for putting these people in contact with one another and
watching the creative sparks fly. If this happens, the advantages to Parrot
will be several:

  • Another important High-Level Language (HLL) implemented on Parrot
    testifies to the viability and usefulness of the Parrot virtual machine.
  • Another important HLL implemented on Parrot will force Parrot developers
    to become much more aware of the ways in which people outside the Parrot
    community want to use our code.

But I would not expect people already heavily invested in Python to attempt a
Python-on-Parrot implementation for the benefits to Parrot. They would
only -- indeed, should only -- attempt that if they believe their
efforts would benefit Python and the Python community as well.

Hence, what we need to tell them is: "Do It for Python!"

I would expect that a group of P-on-P implementors would first conduct an
assessment of Python's needs and Parrot's current capabilities. They would
have to let us Parrot developers know whether anything is currently lacking in
Parrot that prevents them from even beginning an implementation effort. Then
they would have to organize themselves and take on such tasks as setting up
mailing lists, code repositories, etc.; determining project roles (including,
perhaps, liaisons to Parrot); evaluating past P-on-P implementation efforts;
and so forth.

Ultimately, I would hope that P-on-P implementors would aim for a Python
implementation which is viable and useful for many applications -- and is the
best implementation for at least one application.

But all that's down the road a bit. For now, let's try to identify the Python
enthusiasts among our friends and try putting them in contact with each other.