Food for thought (and my previous squaak return post)

Jay Emerson jayemerson at
Wed Jun 29 15:10:38 UTC 2011

I wanted to note that I finally did manage to modify squaak
subroutines (functions) to allow returns, something that I did
previously in 2.8.0 but struggled with in 3.3.0.  This brings up a
point related to Andrew's post, below.

If I were being paid to work on this, I think that squaak and the
associated tutorial is high-priority; people new to Parrot will almost
certainly start here, and people developing a new language will rely
heavily upon the tutorial.  Over the last two years I've worked on a
bare-bones grammar for the R language, several times.  When new
versions of Parrot evolved, my parser broke.  Similarly, older
versions of squaak were broken by Parrot updates.  Frustrating, but
absolutely necessary: the evolution of Parrot is far more important
than maintaining backwards compatibility.  At the same time, the fast
evolution of Parrot risks alienating a group of potentially valuable

If the process of updating squaak in parallel with the evolution of
Parrot were documented, it would be a little friendlier for people
like me.  To this purpose, I hereby volunteer to document what I
needed to do with function returns in 3.3.0, contrasting this to the
previously-blogged solution that worked with 2.8.0.  How this is used
(other than a post to this list) is up to you guys.  I'll try to do
this in the next few days.



At the Parrot/Perl 6 BOF at YAPC we are trying to figure out how we can focus
more on the most important things that need to happen in Parrot.

To facilitate this, please conduct this thought experiment:

If you were being paid to hack on Parrot, which things would you be expected to
work on?

If you can formulate an answer to this, please respond to this email and let
others know. You won't be held to this, and no one is going to tell anybody to
stop working on their favorite pet project, but we feel that if Parrot hackers
keep this in mind and communicate it, we can better focus our energies on
the most important things that need to happen.


John W. Emerson (Jay)
Associate Professor of Statistics
Department of Statistics
Yale University

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