The summary of the Community Bonding Period

Students get to know mentors, read documentation, get up to speed to begin working on their projects.

Or so says the GSoC timeline. That ends today, almost one month since the accepted students were announced.  I didn’t do much community bonding per se. I’ve been quite active in the Perl 6 community for almost a year now. I already knew Moritz and Carl (the latter one even in person), my mentors, so that part can be ticked as “done” as well. So what did I do, instead of  lying in the shade and drinking a fine tea? The Read Documentation part, but not only. I’ve done lots of discussions with my mentors, and received an excellent feedback. Almost every discussion I was afraid I may forgot about was scrupulously logged in the gsocmess repo. But not only the irc logs got there. I started scratching out how the Pod nodes of the example Pod documents will look like. I used the parts of S26, as they’re probably the best examples of Pod 6 out there. I didn’t spend the whole time parsing example documents myself though. Over the last two weekends I started the actual coding: what was to be done for week #1 and even #2. After some serious headscratching and a few wtf moments I ended up with a parser capable of parsing delimited, paragraph, and abbreviated blocks of Pod. 129 lines of code, 337 lines of tests. I also started moving the grammar rules into rakudo; I created a gsoc/podparser branch and started migrating the code there. It doesn’t bring any features, but it opens a way to fill in the action methods and actually produce the Pod node tree in parse time. At the moment of writing this, the branch fails on some of the spectests, which I plan fixing soon.

How will I fill the time that I got working in advance? Well, most of it will be lost^Wwasted^Wspent on the University work. My semester is still on, the exams finish on June the 30th, so it’s quite possible I won’t do any GSoC-related work in the upcoming weeks. On the other hand, I can’t imagine Physics or Signal Theory being more attractive than GSoC, so I’ll probably end up ruining my exam session and coding instead. But time will tell. Hopefully I’d be able to end up with the exams passed, and the GSoC on schedule.

TL;DR: Instead of community bonding, I started the actual coding and bit off most of week #1 and #2 of my schedule.

Zebras in the Perl 6 herd

Well, the #perl6 herd mostly. Where did they come from? Well, it all started with this tadzik guy one day on the #perl irc channel.

tadzik  | good evening zebras!
colomon | zebras?
tadzik  | oh, I just felt a need for a funny greeting
tadzik  | how are things?

Zebras had to wait to become noticed until the morning next day:

masak   | <tadzik> good evening zebras!
masak   | I for one hope this will become an instant classic :)
jnthn   | It may, but it's not black and white.

And it did became, actually. Since that day, zebras have been mentioned 230 on #perl6, my irc logs say. In a various forms, in a various contexts. But the main idea remained. -Ofun, all the way.

(Gee, that sounds so official)

Zebra is also a codename of a Secret Project of mine, a bit GSoC related. But that’s another story, and it’s not coming very soon anyway.


And so I’m accepted as a Perl Foundation GSoC student. Yay!

I don’t think there’s any particular blogging requirement, yet there’s already too much Perl on this blag, so a tiny bit more won’t make much difference. Plus I believe it’ll be so exciting I would have been blogging about it anyway :)

The coding starts in the last week of May I think, but due to somewhat unfortunate collision between the end of my semester and the beginning of the GSoC I may experience some lack of time. The reasonable solution is to start coding a bit earlier, to minimize the possibility of slips in the coding time. The gsocmess repo will keep all the thoughts and maybe some code I’ll write during the thinking time. Feel free to look into it from time to time (free code review \o/), and, as always, constructive criticism or your own thoughts will be more than appreciated.