Perl 6
poniecode.org: Revision 2

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Ponie has been put out to pasture

August 23rd, 2006

Over the past several years, one key aspect of the migration plan to Perl 6 has been the Ponie project, a fusion of the Perl 5 runtime with Parrot. Sponsored by Fotango, Artur Bergman and Nicholas Clark did a heroic job cleaning up Perl's internals to make it possible to replace some components of Perl 5 with Parrot, one piece at a time, while still keeping the core of the Perl 5 runtime intact with 100% bug-for-bug compatibility. Along the way, Nicholas ported several significant Perl core improvements from Ponie back to the Perl 5.9 tree.

Ponie never really became a community project. All significant work was done as part of Fotango's sponsorship. When it had good momentum and sponsored developers, it needed a number of Parrot features that weren't yet available. At this point, Ponie has not been in active development for almost half a year and it's my unhappy duty to declare the project dead.

Norman Nunley is currently working to do a final extraction of unharvested improvements from the Ponie code before we put it out to pasture. Lots of good came out of Ponie, just not the good things we expected.

A number of very talented hackers are currently exploring multiple strategies to enable most Perl 5 code to run seamlessly along side Perl 6 in Parrot. Folks have already demonstrated a proof-of-concept Parrot VM embedded in the Perl 5 runtime. Work is underway on a Perl 5 to Perl 6 translator and the existing Perl 6 compiler on Parrot is the proof of concept for a similar implementation of a "regularized" Perl 5. At this point, it wouldn't be reasonable to bless any one right way forward but each of these techniques (and possibly others) could play a part in whatever "5 on 6" scheme we end up with. No matter what happens, we're committed to making your Perl 5 code play well with new Perl 6 code.

- Jesse

Perl 6 Project Manager

Press Release

The Perl Foundation announces project Ponie to bridge Perl 5 and Perl 6

Two year investment from Fotango to lead the development of Perl 5 running on top of Parrot.

OSCON 2003, Portland, OR (July 8, 2003) -- The Perl Foundation (TPF) is pleased to announce the formation of the Ponie Project, a bridge between Perl 5 and Perl 6. The Perl 5 interpreter will be rewritten to run on Parrot, the Perl 6 virtual machine. This will ensure the future of the millions of lines of Perl 5 code at thousands of companies around the world.

Fotango's two-year commitment will allow Arthur Bergman, a Senior Developer at the company and the main contributor to the Perl 5.8 threading effort, to help TPF coordinate and steer the Ponie project externally with the Perl community and internally within Fotango.

"Ponie changes all the rules. Parrot will be the heart of Perl 6. Bringing Parrot to the heart of Perl 5 is very exciting," said Simon Wardley, Fotango's COO. "Ponie will offer a clear road forward for companies contemplating the Perl 5 to Perl 6 transition."

"Fotango has been working with the Perl community for some time now." said Allison Randal, President of The Perl Foundation. "Ponie is not only important for Perl 5, but for Perl 6 as well. With Fotango's involvement and sponsorship we are confident in the route the Ponie project is taking."

Perl 6 is the next version of the Perl programming language. Perl 6 is currently in the design stage and is coordinated by Larry Wall, inventor of the Perl language, Damian Conway, the author of 'Object Oriented Programming in Perl' and Allison Randal, the president of the Perl Foundation. Parrot, being coordinated by Dan Sugalski, is the virtual machine designed for dynamic languages that will run the next version of Perl.

The Perl Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of the Perl programming language through open discussion, collaboration, design, and code. The Perl Foundation is a unit of the Yet Another Society (YAS), a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Holland, Michigan.

Fotango is a creative solutions group providing consultancy on software projects. Fotango employs a large number of open source contributors and releases much of its own software as open source. Fotango is based in London, UK.


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