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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weekend Hackathon

This weekend we were supposed to have a hackathon to get the new PCC branch up and running. The purpose of this branch is, as I have discussed before, to rearrange the call sequence so return values are processed after the function invocation instead of before. In the grand scheme of things, especially in comparison to the previous PCC refactors, this ends up being a minor change characterized mostly by massive code deletions instead of needing to write huge new functions or rewrite tons of existing functions. A few bugs stymied completion of the branch, but I have high hopes that the remaining bugs will get worked out soon. This branch was worked on primarily by allison, though I lent an eye as time permitted and chromatic lent some major debugging support as well.

Very few people ended up working on the PCC branch, even though that was the "official" target of the hackathon. A large amount of effort instead went to work on other branches. I'm certainly not complaining about the division of effort. In fact, I want to celebrate it. I'm extremely happy to see other worthwhile projects getting extra manhours devoted to them. It's very good to get people working on Parrot in any capacity, and as I mentioned above the PCC work was not a huge project that would have required a dozen developers focusing on it anyway.

cotto and bacek focused their considerable talents on the ops_pct branch, which aims to replace the Perl5-based ops parser with a bootstrapped version written with PCT. Im not sure about the exact status of that branch, but there was a huge flurry of commits and I have to believe things are progressing rapidly.

plobsing started a new branch to tackle ticket #1015. Using some of the new mechanisms he's developed to find and prevent cycles in the freeze/thaw code, he decided to try and fix the problems with cycles in deep clones as well. I don't know the current status, but last I saw his work was going well.

Coke has started a new branch to continue the makefile cleanups, this time focusing on the recursive makefile for the dynops. He seems to be running into some bugs this morning, but hopefully nothing that cannot be quickly overcome.

Overall I would label the hackathon a great success. A lot of people came out to IRC to follow progress and work on various projects, and it is all much-appreciated.

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