Last week, the Perl Foundation announced that the Mozilla Foundation has awarded a development grant to Patrick Michaud to work on the Perl 6 on Parrot compiler. Thank you, Mozilla Foundation (especially Zak Greant and Frank Hecker.)
This grant is particularly important because it’s the largest grant of money to any Perl 6 hacker in several years. There have been a couple of other grants; the NLNet foundation made a very generous grant to Parrot a couple of years ago, which the Perl Foundation is doling out as Parrot hackers reach specific milestones. A well-known Perl-friendly development and consulting company also sponsored several microgrants for Perl 6, Pugs, and Parrot.
If you’ve read between the lines of several of my recent postings related to development, motivation, sponsorship, and scheduling (for example, Squeezing One Year of Work into Eight) you’ve probably recognized that I believe strongly that external resource constraints have slowed Perl 6 development dramatically. (Alternate phrasing: the progress of various Perl 6-related development efforts is impressive considering how few resources any of the projects actually have.)
I have confidence in the work of Patrick and a strong belief that the Mozilla Foundation’s generous grant will enable him to devote more attention to the Parrot compiler tools and Perl 6 on Parrot — and even more important, to recruit and encourage more developers, testers, documenters, and participants to participate. I do believe that we can develop and are developing high-quality, useful, inventive software for comparatively few resources, and I’m proud of what we’ve all accomplished.
Still, as Allison Randal’s Impact of Parrot Grant report to NLNet illustrates, even modest sponsorship can help us work even more effectively.
Think of the community-driven software projects you rely on and please consider how individual and company sponsorships may help us build and maintain a powerful, useful, and above all free ecosystem of high quality software.