John Sequeira

Amped::Technology

Thursday, July 13, 2006
Lots of running-something-on-something-else

I briefly met Audrey Tang after attending her talk @ Boston.pm last night. I confessed to obsessively following her 1yr-old pugs project and generally embarrassed myself with fanboy-speak ("I love PAR", "Pugs ...uh so good", "wow, you're great", etc)

Since voraciously consuming all of the media spinning out of audrey's world (blog/podcast/code/slideshows) I found it very difficult to come up with meaningful questions for her. But in between silly complements, I did manage to find out about the following:

  • Pugs has produced a perl6 compiler with a perl5 backend, written in pure perl5. This means you can run perl6 on perl5 with Audrey's v6-alpha.pm - I can't wait to try this. There's lots of perl5 baggage that I've been ready to leave behind, and having the option to make a gradually transition without leavinng CPAN behind seems emminently doable. v6 compiled fine in my Ubuntu VM (not so fine in cygwin), but I haven't actually messed with it yet.
  • .NET bytecode will run in parrot - just 4 more opcodes to go says Audrey. She said that mono's implementation is an incredibily useful bootstrap for parrot's .net bytecode consumption, essentially turning it into a solvable problem. If only parrot ... oh nevermind.
  • Scheme,Ruby and Perl6 compile happily to Javascript ( joining Java/GWT and C#/Script#) However, Audrey said next year's Javascript2 is a likely prerequisite for meaningful interoperability at the translated language level (language-agnostic JSAN etc)

    Non-Audrey-related running something-on-something else

  • ActiveGrid is getting behind Jython AG can now answer a definitive "yes" to "Are you strongly typed or dynamic?".
  • Continuing the relentless march of established virtualization providers to Mac/x86, Win4Lin now has a Mac/X86 version. Cause you know all those Mac folks really want to run Windows. On their Mac. And they'll pay $$$ to do it. Um, right? In related news, Fabrice Bellard has "Full MAC OS X support as guest OS" on the QEMU roadmap. That would be more broadly useful Mac/Win synthesis, if only Mr Jobs would kick his exclusivity fetish.

    Moving back to Audrey, I thought that Parrot was the solution to mod_perl being adopted by share-account ISPs, but Audrey said that the existing Safe::World allows you to run multiple independent mod_perl applications on the same instance (think ISP/hosting) ("like BSD Jails"). I don't know why I hadn't heard of this, and also why no ISP is using it to offer mod_perl apps on cheap hosting accounts. Safe::World + Apache::PAR seem like a match made in heaven for one-click-deploy control-panels, but empirically it seems to be not yet real-world ready. ASP.NET 2.0 is ahead in the webapp-as-deployable-archive regard, and that's just not right.

    Anyway, to wrap up, I think what Audrey is doing to migrate the legions of perl5'rs to perl6 is worthy of a HBS case study. It's the kind of advocacy, narrative, passion and kick-ass technical skills that you almost never find combined into one person, and seldom even in companies. It's what I like about Miguel de Icaza, (and philg at one point,) but that's about as long as my list goes.
    1:46:20 PM      comment []  trackback []


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