[Critisms] Parrot backward compatibility and docs

Kartik Thakore thakore.kartik at gmail.com
Fri Jun 18 01:22:00 UTC 2010

Hello folks,

So after taking a bit of a break from hacking I was back to try the
brand spanking new Parrot. Most of all I wanted to see how it worked
with my naive attempt at parrotSDL
(http://github.com/kthakore/parrotSDL). parrotSDL is an attempt to bind
the SDL (http://libsdl.org) library to parrot using NCI. It would bring
simple multimedia (think games) functionality to parrot. 

When I first started parrotSDL a few months ago I was excited with the
promise of learning a really cool new language and platform. I had often
wondered why no one else has done this yet; or for that matter any other
bindings. Surely it couldn't have been that hard. For me the SDL pir sources
was already in the parrot trunk, just not working. 

In hindsight that should have been my hint or rather a warning bell. Anyway, 
I quickly fixed a bunch of minor bugs and release them against the latest 
parrot trunk. The last commit was on February 25, 2010. A mere 5 months
ago. And now parrotSDL is completely unusable now. The cause which seems
completely ridiculous (printerr, cmod, .. etc now expects a ( ) around the
string after it) to me as an end user.

I have no doubt that there must be a good reason for this change in
syntax. But I digress, as an end user this is very disappointing. If a
library written in parrot is obsolete in 5 months ... what is the

Moreover there is hardly a notice of what has been deprecated, so now I
have to walk through svn logs, or hunt in varying places. And most
annoying of all the docs provided by parrot are either obsolete or just
too short. 

For me right now I really would like to push forward with parrotSDL, but
I feel as if parrot was made by core developers for core developers.
Which is fine, but I really hope that was not the only point of this. 

Kartik Thakore  

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