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Parrot Compiler Tools

Conference: YAPC::Europe
Location: Birmingham, UK
Slides: PDF

Description: The core of the Parrot compiler tool suite is the fuel-injected dual-turbine of PGE and TGE, Parrot’s parser and tree transformation engines. While these tools have their roots in regular expressions, recursive descent parsing, and attribute grammars, they are so far beyond these dusty archaic fields of study that they have been called “revolutionary”.

This talk is a tour through some of the languages currently being implemented on Parrot (APL, Scheme, Perl 1, and Perl 6) and the tools that make them possible. You’ll walk away from it secure in the knowledge that your horizons have been expanded like a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick. Who knows, you might even be bitten by a suspiciously compelling urge to implement a language on Parrot.

There’s an odd misconception in the computing world that writing compilers is hard. This view is fueled by the fact that people don’t write compilers very often. People used to think writing CGI code was hard. Well, it is hard, if you do it in C without any tools. I don’t know anyone who writes CGI code in C anymore. If we wrote compilers as often as we write shopping carts, or web forums, or wikis, there would be just as many tools available to make the job easy. (And just like web tools, only 10% of them would be worth using. That’s evolution in action.)
– Allison Randal, “Parrot Compiler Tools”