First Perl 6 Microgrant - Steve Peters on Parrot Portability

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Mar 26, 2007, 12:59:41 PM3/26/07
We're pleased to announce that we've selected Steve Peters as the
recipient of the first Perl 6 microgrant. Steve has been instrumental
in helping to ensure that Perl 5 has stayed incredibly portable for
the past few years. Steve's starting to turn some of his attention
to Parrot. You can find details of the project he's planning in
the text of his grant application:

There are several problems currently with Parrot's portability, which
may inhibit its adoption as a run anywhere VM. This problem will be a
major obsticle in the Perl6-to-Parrot solutions that have been

Some of these problems include:

* Failures to successfully link a Parrot executable with gcc on Cygwin.
* Failures to successfully link a Parrot executable with icc or suncc
on Linux.
* Failures to successfully link a Parrot executable with Borland C++
on Windows.

These are the failures I have personally experienced. I suspect there
may be additional problems on other OS's and platforms as well since
there seems to be very spotty coverage of HP-UX and Solaris based on
results seen on the Parrot smoke report website.

Having worked with the Perl 5 core for a few years now, I have a good
deal of experience in this area. I currently smoke test Perl on four
different operating systems with seven different compilers. I have
worked to get Intel C++ and Sun Studio compiling Perl without failures
on Linux. I am also currently working with Sun in their early access
program to test out their new Sun Studio 12 compilers on both Linux
and Solaris.

For completion of this grant, I believe the following would be the
bare minimum needed for a successful project.

* Successful completion of a full Cygwin compile of Parrot and
application of necessary patches to Parrot. Test failures should be
in line with what is observed on Linux or Mac OS X. That is clean
up any test failures that seem to be platform specific to Cygwin.

* Similarly, compiling Parrot with Intel C++ and Sun Studio 12 for Linux,
application of any necessary patches, and cleanup of compiler specific

* Compiling Parrot with Borland C++ on Windows with application
of necessary patches to the Parrot core. Cleanup of compiler specific
issues with necessary additional changes patched in the Parrot core.

* Investigation into gmake "-j" support to allow for parallel
building of Parrot.

Additional planned work:

* Additional cleanup for other OS's including (but not limited to)
NetBSD, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD.

* Testing and cleanup for Solaris (x86 and Sparc) and HP-UX if needed.
As I only have guest access for the majority of these platforms,
the work is dependent on continued access to these systems. As long
as I have the access, though, I plan to treat this deliverable
similarly to the others.

Steve will be blogging about his grant progress at http://

Please join us in wishing him the best of luck with his project.
We're really looking forward to seeing the results of this work.
If you're interested in submitting a Perl 6 microgrant proposal,
you can find details here:

Jesse and Leon


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