At the beginning of June the organization generously committed to funding me for 1-day-per-week of Rakudo effort, but because of the Rakudo release, Parrot Virtual Machine Workshop, YAPC::NA, and a short vacation, today is the first day that I had available to really dedicate to the task. In fact, to catch things up a bit I plan to do another Rakudo day tomorrow or Thursday.

Here's what I accomplished for today's Rakudo day.

The biggest task I tackled for the Rakudo day was to be able to write operators in the setting (Perl 6) instead of PIR (RT #66826). In fact, I had actually done most of this last week during the YAPC::NA hackathon day, but interruptions then and a few annoying Parrot bugs kept me from marking the task as completely accomplished then. What this means is that we can now begin defining operators directly in Perl 6 code (perhaps with some inlined PIR), which moritz++ has already been exercising for infix:<...>, infix:<eqv>, and a few other operators. Over the next few weeks I expect we'll move even more operators out of PIR and into the setting.

The rest of today's Rakudo day was spent reviewing and cleaning up the RT queue; it had grown to over 400 tickets but by the end of the day Jonathan and I have shrunk it back down to 387. I think we collectively closed about 16 tickets today, and I responded with requests for clarification or updates on several more. Here are some of the highlights:

RT #66060 noted a problem that the .uc method would fail on some strings where .lc worked. I tracked this down to a Parrot issue in its handling of Unicode strings when ICU wasn't present, and refactored the code to be a bit more robust there.

RT #66640 noted that the minmax operator wasn't implemented, so after some discussion about what it should do I added it to the setting (using the operator features mentioned above).

In RT #66624, the exception message coming back from not finding a substring within a string was particularly misleading; I adjusted .substr to provide a more useful error message.

For RT #66928 .WHAT would not work on some subs like &infix:<+>; this was because some of the builtin operators are still using Parrot's MultiSub PMC instead of the Perl6MultiSub PMC, and those didn't have a mapping to the type object. Eventually all of the operators will become Perl6MultiSub; in the meantime I set Parrot MultiSub PMCs to map to the Multi() type objects in the same manner that other Parrot PMC classes are mapped to Perl 6 types.

RT #66818 noted a problem with unwanted flattening of %*VM in a for statement; this was because the contents of %*VM were incorrectly bound to the Hash directly instead of going through a non-flattening reference (Perl6Scalar). Eventually I expect %*VM to be initialized in the setting, though, which will provide a more robust and direct solution to this problem.

In RT #66840 it was discovered that precedence errors in the ternary operator would cause Rakudo to issue an error message and exit completely, instead of throwing a catchable exception. I tracked this down to PGE's OPTable handling of the ternary operator, it was actually using "exit" when the error occurred (probably because it came from before Parrot's exception model was firmly in place). This was changed to throw an exception instead; the actual exception message needs a bit of work but I expect that will come from the much larger PGE refactoring that will be done as part of the Hague grant.

Lastly, today I spent a good bit of time discussing Rakudo and Parrot build/install issues with Allison, and I think we have basic agreement on the changes we'll be making in order to get those working. Hopefully we can get all of that done in time for the July release.

So, that's my first Rakudo day -- lots of little pestering bug fixes, and a key bit of infrastructure to fully enable writing the builtin operators in Perl 6. Later this week I plan to do a long-needed refactor of container handling in Rakudo, and maybe to get a more complete implementation of BEGIN blocks (which we massively cheat on at the moment).

Thanks again to for sponsoring this work.


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