2014.12: Release Week, GSoC, and Game Development, oh my!

Last week, there has been a Rakudo release (the Rakudo * releases happen later in the month), which gives you most of the changes I’ve talked about in the recent weeklies. Sadly, there was a bug in the way GC threads pass work to each other in the MoarVM Concurrency branch. Therefore, that branch hasn’t been merged for the release.

We didn’t bump the minimum parrot revision to the 6.2.0 release yet, which would have given us some optimizations (I’ve yet to run the benchmarks), but next month’s parrot release will likely bring handling environment variables back to the qx quoting construct, so I’ll bug the release manager to bump parrot in any case 🙂

arnsholt has been working on the JAST compiler – an intermediate stage of compiling NPQ or Rakudo QAST to JVM .class files. So far, it has been creating a string representation of a tree, which was then parsed by some java code. With the new branch, the java code will directly get passed proper data structures, thus eliminating redundant parsing.

brrt has pushed his GSoC application out to hopefully be accepted to work on a JIT compiler for MoarVM. jnthn will be his mentor and until the GSoC starts, he’ll have made public his work towards control flow graph generation and bytecode specialization. I’m really looking forward to that!

dwarring has added a few spectests for the p6advent 2013. It’s always good to immediately see when a change to the implementation or spec causes these texts to become outdated. Though I don’t know yet if we have yet decided how to exactly handle outdated posts from years ago.

Spectest-wise, Rakudo-moar is still at the 100% spot with Rakudo-jvm at 99.27% and Rakudo-parrot is now down to 99.00% relative to Rakudo-moar. I imagine that is the good Unicode DB support we have in MoarVM. When the concurrency branch of MoarVM is merged to master, that lead will increase even more. Oh my!

I kept the best thing for last: tadzik has been working on a tiny game development framework on top of SDL2 and has made an example game with that. On top of that, he’s called out a game development contest that’ll go until sunday. Find all the details on his blog.

I wish you all a pleasant week! 🙂


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