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Hackathon Chicago, Nov 10-12, 2006

This is the place to list what your projects have achieved. Maybe it's not even a project, but someone you met, or a hallway conversation you had. List it here!

Perl 6 & Parrot

  • Fixed a bunch of sprintf test failures
  • Put error checking on the Configure.pl script
  • Added a new Forth implementation to the repo
  • Fixed various namespace issues with Tcl
  • Fixed the coding standard test failures
  • Autogenerated more information for coding standard tests
  • Fixed runinterp_p_p not to throw warnings
  • Several new parrot hackers minted.
  • Used the existence of a patent on the C# API to convince chip not to write a C# compiler for Parrot
  • Discussed object/pmcs
  • Removed python ops
  • Implemented a large part of the new bytecode spec, including working towards packfiles being garbage collectable and introspectable
  • Wrote the beginnings of a PIR grammer (for PGE)




  • Two new committers on Perl::Critic
    • Michael Wolf worked with Chris on two new policies. Did his first SVN commit ever.
    • Elliot Shank committed his first policy
  • Met Chris & other folks
  • Four new policies created, several bugs fixed
  • Established relationship w/Ken Krugler.



Jifty Backend Abstraction

  • Wrote a modelless Jifty app (Sifty)

Filterless subroutine prototypes

  • Got B::Generate and optimizer working again which are necessary to figure out how types and typesafety do their prototype hacking magic.


  • Released a new version of File::Next to support a --sort flag in ack.
  • Released a new version of ack that includes an option to recreate itself as a standalone script you can put in your ~/bin.
  • Increased test coverage on ack.

Socialtext Open


  • Pete Krawczyk has been blowing through the bug queue, some over 3 years.
  • Unicode is better.
  • Two new versions released during the hackathon, 3.22 and 3.23.

Anything else

Saturday Status/Sucess Report

On Saturday evening, just before a huge stack of huge Chicago pizzas arrived, we reported on our sucesses. here's the notes (as transcribed by Michael R. Wolf) from that meeting. Please modify, amplify, and correct as necessary.


  • 2 new Perl::Critic committers (Michael and Elliot)
  • 2 new policies.

Chris Dolan & Michael Wolf

  • Pair coded new policy (Editor::RequireEmacsFileVariables)
  • Started new policy (ProhibitListProcessingSideEffects) to notice when map, grep, or first are used to change $_.

Elliot Shank

  • Created new policy: ProhibitMagicNumbers

Andy Lester

  • Ran perlcritic (plus own modifications) extensively on socialtext.
  • Updated Perl::Critic TODO list based on use cases



  • "Parrot metastasized through the room"
  • Chip was so busy fielding interruptions from folks that were eager to help that he didn't originally get time to do his own work. He was thrilled!!!
  • Lots of tests were fixed. As of midnight, the bug count was down to 2 from 70+ (or 50+) earlier this week.
  • The face-to-face interactions severely cut the round-trip time from question to answer to action. Significantly. Question to action was minutes, not days.
  • 8 folks did their first work on Parrot on Saturday. The day started with 6 and ended with 14 Parrot folks.
  • Some folks did their first successful parrot download, update and edits


  • created code to automate the PMC list, a formerly manual

(i.e. error-prone and onerous) process.


  • Did some digital ditch digging by standardizing some C code to use the the variable 'interp' instead of its multitude of different spellings.

Mike S

  • Ran cygwin tests. Studied threads. Exported symbols.

John Beckman

  • Created FORTH test suite to exercise the "ANSI FORTH standard", a phrase that Chip spoke to a tittering crowd. "Each word of the phrase is successively surprising".


  • Got Perl to compile

Jim Keenan

  • Pmc2c.pl, testing. "Successfully used Phalanx principles."
  • Learned a CPAN config workaround from Schwern that had eluded him (and a thread on Perl Monks) for over a year.
  • GMP build on iBook workaround while working on Parrot. Triggered question through Chip that was resolved by DHA.

David Adler

  • Coded workaround to bad options


  • Tcl compiler improvements
  • Shined some light into some dark corners
  • Added new language to Parrot: FORTH


  • New byte format
  • Created Parrot grammar for Parrot


  • Packfile introspection
  • Wrote C code

Rick Scott

  • Removed dead link in docs.
  • Reworking test code to place temporary files in consistent locations.
  • Made Parrot's test harness use -D40 (initialize registers with random garbage).

Other Projects


  • Cleared bugs from the HTML::Tree package, some of which were 3+ years old, and had survived the reign of multiple package owners.
  • Some Unicode and UTF8 characters were duplicated. No longer. There's now "much better Unicoding".

Andy Lester

  • Worked on ack: updating ack, file next. there's a new (non-cpan, non-perl-related) home page petdance.com/ack. Can now download as a script for ~/bin directory. Crushes all dependencies. Viral marketing for cpan-phobic and perl-phobic folks, whe will later learn that 'ack' is possible because of the power of both. But they don't need to know that just yet.

Michael Schwern

  • Worked on crush.


  • Installed and documented Perl installation via ActiveState and cygwin so that he can help folks in future.


  • Abstracted REST back end to Jifty. Made web services back end where only a DB backend was previously possible. Proof of concept. Took a rigid DBI-centric model, and flexed it to accomodate new interfaces. (Nobody said the /R[aeiou]{2}ls/ word, nor mentioned a gem stone. Jifty is Jifty, not "like" something else.)

Todd Hepler

  • made some progress on a custom Moose metaclass for "tracked" objects, with help from #moose


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