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Perl 6 and Parrot Essentials, Second Edition by Leopold Tötsch, Dan Sugalski, Allison Randal

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Parrot Development

Parrot development is the productive core of Perl 6 development. If you want coding action, this is the place to be.

Organization of the Parrot project is lightweight but efficient. It’s a meritocracy—people who make valuable contributions are offered more responsibility. Communication is relaxed and informal. As Dan is so fond of saying, “This is far too important to take seriously.” It’s a bit like a special forces unit—the work gets done not because of tight control from the top, but because the whole team knows the task at hand and does it.

Development Cycles

The cycles in Parrot development center on “point releases.” A point release is a version change, such as 0.0.8 to 0.0.9. The pumpking decides when point releases happen and what features are included. Usually one or two solid new features trigger a release.

Development proceeds at a steady pace of bug reports, patches submitted, and patches applied. The pace isn’t so much a result of careful planning as it is the law of averages—on any given day, someone, somewhere, is working on Parrot. A release is a spike in that activity, but since Parrot tends to follow the “release early, release often” strategy, the spike is relatively small.

Typically, the pumpking declares a feature freeze a few days before each release and all development efforts center on bug squashing. This periodic cleanup is one of the most valuable aspects of a release.

Getting Involved

Just like design work, the first step to participating ...

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