How can I get involved in Parrot development?

James E Keenan jkeen at
Sat Oct 30 13:56:06 UTC 2010

Tadeusz Sośnierz wrote:
> Hello,
> Encouraged by Jonathan "Duke" Leto, I'd like to show my interest in
> helping Parrot development, and ask for some guidance.

> I'd like to get involved in GSoC next year, so I want to get a bit
> deeper into parrot. Are there any things I could work on? Where can I
> help to gain some experience? Where to start?

We're very glad to hear from you.  Over the next few months, I expect 
(based on discussion in our online meeting in #parrotsketch on Oct 26) 
that many Parrot contributors will be focusing their work in three 
areas.  Let me describe each.

1.  Lorito:  Lorito is a code name for a set of planned refactors to the 
core of Parrot. It involves:

     * A very small set of core opcodes.
     * A simple language that compiles down to the small set of core 
     * A large set of "virtual" opcodes written in the simple language. 
(This is pretty much the same set as our current opcodes.)

The above description is taken from our wiki:

Lorito might be interesting for you because it will entail work at deep 
levels of the codebase where your C skills would be valuable.  Christoph 
Otto (#parrot: cotto) is a key person in the task force developing to 
take on Lorito, so I'll encourage him to contact you.

2.  Embedding:  Parrot is not meant to be an academic exercise in the 
construction of compilers.  It is meant to be used in the same sort of 
production situations that dynamic programming languages like Perl and 
Python are used in.  "Embedding" is a kind of shorthand for making it 
easier for the people who want to use Parrot can do so easily.   We 
recognize that this is not as easy as it should be and that this needs 
to be fixed.  Andrew Whitford (#parrot: whiteknight) has blogged about 
these issues (see his recent posts on and I'll 
encourage him to contact you.  Jonathan Leto (#parrot:  dukeleto) is 
also working on embedding Parrot in PostgreSQL procedural languages and 

3.  Google Code-In:  This is a Google community project aimed at 13-18 
year old students -- kind of like the junior varsity version of the GSOC 
in which you hope to participate.  I think the Parrot Project filed an 
application to participate in this project and we'll need task mentors. 
  Watch #parrot and this list for details.

Please let us know what other information we can provide.

Thank you very much.
Jim Keenan (#parrot: kid51)

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