Parrot - Overview


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When we feed our program into conventional Perl, it is first compiled into an internal representation, or bytecode; this bytecode is then fed into almost separate subsystem inside Perl to be interpreted. So there are two distinct phases of Perl's operation:

  • Compilation to bytecode and

  • Interpretation of bytecode.

This is not unique to Perl. Other languages following this design include Python, Ruby, Tcl and even Java.

We also know that there is a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) which is a platform independent execution environment that converts Java bytecode into machine language and executes it. If you understand this concept then you will understand Parrot.

Parrot is a virtual machine designed to efficiently compile and execute bytecode for interpreted languages. Parrot is the target for the final Perl 6 compiler, and is used as a backend for Pugs, as well as variety of other languages like Tcl, Ruby, Python etc.

Parrot has been written using most popular language "C".



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