2017.02 Dogfooding and Powerbotting

Seems everybody likes robots nowadays. The #perl6 channels on irc.freenode.org have quite a few of them. One of the oldest bots, dalek (written in Perl 5) announces commits to various repositories on the channel. Well, announced, because it has been decommissioned this week. A new, shiny bot called Geth (written in Perl 6) has replaced it (thanks to Zoffix Znet).

Meanwhile, the bisectable bot seems to have been inspirational to the Rust community. Too bad that post was not from a Rust developer.

If you’re interested in knowing what bots frequent the #perl6 channels, finding out about them is a bit troublesome. They’re not all officially documented, but there is a list that appears to be maintained. Maybe next week I can post a proper URL 🙂 .

Sparrowdo Blog

Alexey Melezhik announced the start of a blog about Sparrowdo, the lightweight and very flexible configuration management system written on Perl 6. It’s good to see such a tool being in active development!


In a few weeks it’s FOSDEM time again: on 4 and 5 February, it will all be happening in Brussels, Belgium. There will be a Perl DevRoom on Sunday. With quite a few Perl 6 related presentations:

Of course, there will also be a Perl booth, where you can get your tuits, stickers, buttons, leaflets and other swag for free. And stuffed camels, stuffed Camelias and books (even a Perl 6 book) at special FOSDEM prices!


It should also be noted that Jeffrey Goff will be given a half-day Perl 6 tutorial titled “Fundamentals of Perl 6 – From Zero to Scripting”. Too bad that’s the only Perl element at OSCON (8-11 May). But one can say we’re working on the future!

The Perl Conference in DC

The Perl Conference in DC (18-23 June) (formerly known as YAPC::NA) has presented its Call for Presentations. So please start submitting your Perl 6 presentations! 🙂

Meanwhile on FaceBook

The Perl 6 FaceBook Group has grown to 360 members. In the past week, a few people posted feedback as to how Rakudo Perl 6 has become faster and faster. Some quotes:

Over the last week Perl6::Parser‘s test suite magically sped up from 120 seconds total to 100 seconds total, and all I did was rebuild perl6. (cusr time went up a bit as did csys, but that’s another 16% speed increase in a matter of days! Good work to the #perl6 core team!
Jeffrey Goff

Found some random Perl 6 toy-code I wrote a few years ago, at the time when no compiler existed that would compile it. I forget what the issue was, but it was plum broken. Wouldn’t ya know? It worked first time with Rakudo this morning. That says something mighty fine about the development & developers of Perl6 and Rakudo. Nice work, all.
Paul Bennett

I switched to Wunderlist for managing my to do lists last month. But it didn’t quite handle recurring tasks the ways I wanted to. Good news: it has a public API. Better news: there is a Python library to work with it, and it works GREAT with Perl 6’s Inline::Python. Basically there are six lines of straightforward boilerplate at the beginning of my code, and after that you can call into the Python library almost exactly like it was native Perl 6.
Solomon Foster

That’s the type of stuff we really like to hear!

Meanwhile on Twitter

The Perl 6 News Feed on Twitter now has more than 120 followers, and has seen quite a lot of tweets. If you really want to be at the cutting edge of Perl 6 news, that’s a way to get it!

Meanwhile on GitHub

Rakudo Perl 6 was added to the Programming Languages Showcase. It’s always good to get a little more exposure!

Perl Foundation Grants

If you’re interested to get a grant from The Perl Foundation to do some Perl 6 development work you would otherwise not be able to do, you have until 15 January to send in your proposal!

Core Developments

  • Alex-Daniel Princess has been going over all calls to the camelia bot on the #perl6 channel (which allows you to execute any Perl 6 code), and used the strings to find out about problems and regressions in Rakudo Perl 6. And he has found quite a few of those, which are now all registered as RT tickets (with quite a few of them fixed already).
  • Samantha McVey continued working on Unicode 9.0 support, such as secondary/tertiary collation and emoji support. She also made decoding UTF-8 14% faster.
  • Daniel Green worked on allowed Nd numeric characters in regex backreferences and ${} special variables.
  • Stefan Seifert fixed the build of the JVM backend if there was an older build available (which would interfere).
  • Jonathan Worthington fixed a number of issues, including use of nextsame in conjunction with multi subs with where clauses, and the spooky issue reported as an OO::Monitors bug (which uses callsame) where occasionally the callsame would not, in fact, call anything.
  • Zoffix Znet fixed TAP::Harness choking on single backslashes in descriptions. He also implemented .clone for SetHash, BagHash and MixHash.
  • Elizabeth Mattijsen started working on optimizing meta-operators. So far, the bare Z operator is now 5x faster. She fixed .sort on native arrays and sped up sorting 0,1,2 element native arrays with 30%. She also gave Seq it’s own .join method, making structures such as @a.map(*.Str).join 30% faster.
  • And of course many more fixes and improvements, clocking in at about 120 commits in the past week.

Blog Posts

Ecosystem Additions

A nice catch again!

Winding Down

Phew! If this is any indication of the amount of news every week in 2017, I think I will need quite a lot more tea! Check in again next week to see if I did need more tea 🙂


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