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Monday, March 24, 2008


I've handed in my first full draft of the thesis proposal to my advisor (full with the omission of source code, frontmatter, and a complete bibliography), and am waiting anxiously for his feedback on that. I have a little bit more to do in the way of implementation, such as finalizing my processor models and verifying their operations, but I'm hesitant to do that last bit until I've received the final go-ahead.

In the mean time, I'm already trying to divvy up all the free time I expect to have after the thesis is finalized, but before the semester proper has come to an end. Plus, I'm looking at the very real possibility that I'm not going to walk directly into a job as soon as I graduate (since I haven't even managed to get invited to a single interview yet). Keeping busy helps me to avoid the depression that would accompany such poor prospects otherwise.

Here are some of the projects that I would like to work on, or have already started working on.
  1. My port of Octave to Parrot. It's actually coming along reasonably well, and progress is going remarkably quick. I have gotten a little bit ambitious (as I always tend to do), and would like to actually create two versions: The first will be "standards" mode, which will try to duplicate the Octave/Matlab syntax directly, and the second will be my "dream" mode, which will incorporate my wishlist of improvements. I'm tinkering on this part-time, and will post updates as they come.
  2. "Parrot Virtual Machine", a Wikibook about Parrot. I'm in the design phase right now, but I want to create the book soon while the iron is hot. I'll post more information about this later.
  3. Parrot. I really want to get more involved in this project, and when I have more time I'm definitely going to try. I am planning to apply for the Google Summer of Code (GSOC) program and work on this stuff, but if I don't get accepted into it I will probably still try to help out anyway. I want to work on the Garbage Collector (I've been doing a lot of reading on this recently), or do some serious work with the Compiler Tools. I have a few sub-ideas here, some of which might be stupid. I'll post them later.
  4. Wikibooks Book Author GUI. I want to create some tools, probably in JavaScript, that will help to automate a number of common tasks on Wikibooks. By making things graphical, with checkboxes and text areas, and whatever, it will make it easier for new authors to get involved. I want to update a number of my existing scripts to be more user-friendly, update my library to do better error detection and correction, and help to create new automation tools (I have a lot of ideas for these, that I can post later).
These are some of the major ideas. I'll post more information about these as I get working on them.

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