(Source: Manny Swedberg; ruby-talk-ML) The Parrot team’s firm
intention is to have Parrot run Python and Ruby just as well as Perl6. This
is helped(?) by the fact that the plans for Perl6 are so feature-rich (not
to say -bloated ;) that supporting everything in it basically means
supporting everything in Ruby. Things that are in Ruby, but not Perl6, like
continuations are slatted to be added to Parrot anyways out of sheer
good-neighborliness. It should, in fact, be possible to compile any
dynamic scripting language into Parrot code: scheme, integer basic,
Because Perl6 is so far away, support for Ruby and Python is probably
actually going to come first. A big test, the first major public showing of
Parrot, is going to come at this year’s O’Reilly convention.
Python/Parrot is going head to head benchmarking with CPython. The loser
gets a pie in the face; watch for it.
Parrot matters. To scripting-language hackers generally, to Ruby hackers
specifically, and to the Open Source movement as a whole.
Parrot promises to furnish a fast, portable environment for every major
scripting language. This will remove one of the big obstacles to more
widespread deployment: speed. Moreover, if I download a Parrot VM to run
someone’s PyGame program on my machine, I already have what I need to
run your Ruby or Perl program without further dependency worries: viral
portability. Fast Ruby means more Ruby hackers. Fast Python and Perl means
more hackers in those languages and thus more people who might take a look
at Ruby; a common runtime would make the transition even easier.
For OSS as a whole, Parrot promises a rival to Java or .Net without
corporate ownership, developed as open source, for languages that are open
source and in which tons of open source code is already written. As the
Gnome project considers a new development language, a timely Parrot
implementation could mean an in for Python, maybe even Ruby. That would be
Parrot is a respectable ways along. Not by any means done, but more than
vaporware. Support for objects was recently added.