Google Summer of Code 2010 Proposal: Parrot on RTEMS [UPDATED]

Parrot on RTEMS

Google Summer of Code Program 2010 Project Proposal

Name: Bob Kuo
Email: (removed here but in my official proposal through Google)
University: Urbana Theological Seminary, Urbana, IL, USA

Project Abstract

This project seeks to enable code written in parrot to run on the RTEMS platform.

Project Description

Parrot is a multi-language, multi-platform virtual machine. The goal of this project is to enable parrot to configure and build for a variety of RTEMS BSPs. Currently, parrot cannot build out of directory nor can it cross-compile. This project would provide the necessary improvements to the parrot build system to enable parrot code to target RTEMS.

Project Deliverables

  1. May 23 (coding begins) – I already have a development environment setup with RTEMS successfully building and compiling on sparc-sis. I will be focusing on an x86 target and I will also attempt to get Chris’ previous work on Parrot + RTEMS up and running.
  2. June 15th – Work will begin on a testing framework to ensure that parrot is behaving correctly within RTEMS.
  3. July 12th (Midterm Evaluation) – Chris’ work will be brought up to date so that Parrot + RTEMS can build of trunk with a small set of patches against the Makefile.
  4. August 9th (Final Evaluation) – Testing framework is in full swing and bugs are being fixed in both parrot and RTEMS. Cross-compilation support is merged into the parrot trunk.
  5. August 23rd (Final Results Announced) – Code is polished, documented, and tested.

Proposed Schedule

April 26 – May 23 2010 (study and prep)

I am less familiar with RTEMS and CVS (I have only used svn or git) so I will be studying the RTEMS system. I will work primarily with the x86 architecture and the i386/pc386 BSP as Parrot already runs very well on this architecture. I also at this point would like to get Chris’ previous work running on my test environment.

May 24 – June 15 2010 (testing)

Assuming I can get Chris’ previous work to build, I will be devising a way to get the parrot test suite to run on RTEMS. Most likely this will be limited to the “core” tests at first.

June 16 – July 12 2010 (trunk)

Once Chris’ work and a testing framework is in place, I will be attempting to get the latest parrot to build on RTEMS. Parrot 2.3.0 will be a longer-term supported release and work will be based off that release.

July 13 – August 9 2010 (patches)

Documentation and tests for both Parrot and RTEMS will be provided throughout the entire period. I hope to have a cross-compilation branch merged into Parrot trunk so that a set of patches against a Makefile are no longer necessary.

August 10 – August 23 2010 (cleanup)

Clean up code, improve documentation, and package any patches or extra files for delivery.

In the even that I’m ahead of schedule:

If I am ahead of schedule during and Parrot is running cleanly on x86 I will begin to extend support to other BSPs. This will involve someone at RTEMS who already has a large number of BSPs built on their system and using the development build farm. While Parrot 2.3.0 will be a longer supported release, it would be ideal if RTEMS+Parrot could track Parrot’s ongoing development.  Programs will be developed that will allow regular automated testing of RTEMS+Parrot.

Continued Involvement

Assuming that the project is a success, I can continue to maintain and support and improve Parrot on RTEMS. Since my work will most likely take me into the guts of RTEMS, I will be contributing to RTEMS for some time to come.

Future Improvements

  1. Remove compiler and linker warnings
  2. Fix broken tests
  3. Support more BSPs

Major Challenges foreseen

My understanding of Makefiles is a bit shallow and cross-compilation is very new to me. I’ll need some expert help in determining how to best modify both Parrot and RTEMS build chains.

Possible Mentors

As Chris Johns has previous work on RTEMS+Parrot, he would be most helpful in mentoring me.  Dr. Joel Sherrill has been extremely helpful on IRC. Jonathan Leto (with Parrot) has worked on the Parrot side of this equation and would be helpful as well.


Chris’ previous work:
Parrot ticket for cross-compilation:
Branch on parrot for cross-compilatoin:

Relevant Background Experience

I have been a Parrot developer since the end of last Google’s Summer of Code and have commit access. Last year I worked with the Perl Foundation to develop Math::Primality and my work can be seen at–primality.


I am a 24 year old grad student living in Champaign-Urbana, IL. My undergraduate degree was in Math and Computer Science with course work focusing on Number and Coding Theory, Numerical Analysis, and Algorithms. I work part-time as a web developer.

How did you learn about RTEMS?

From parrot people.

Anything else that makes you special:

I have a strange light-blue birthmark towards the top of my forehead.


Free Software Experience/Contributions:
I am a committer to parrot, have a module on CPAN (Math::Primality from last year’s Google Summer of Code), and have committed bug fixes to various open source projects (e.g. and Math::GMPz).

Language Skill Set
My part-time job focuses on PHP and Ruby. My open source work takes me mostly towards Perl, and have been working with Perl in either web development or system administration for 4+ years. Previously I worked in C/C++ and Java.

Related Research and Work Experience (if any):
Besides some parrot hacking and playing around with ANTLR for parser generation, nothing significant.

Reference Links and Web URLs (optional):
IRC handle: bubaflub

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