August 23rd, 2006
Over the past several years, one key aspect of the migration plan to Perl 6 has been the Ponie project, a fusion of the Perl 5 runtime with Parrot. Sponsored by Fotango, Artur Bergman and Nicholas Clark did a heroic job cleaning up Perl's internals to make it possible to replace some components of Perl 5 with Parrot, one piece at a time, while still keeping the core of the Perl 5 runtime intact with 100% bug-for-bug compatibility. Along the way, Nicholas ported several significant Perl core improvements from Ponie back to the Perl 5.9 tree.
Ponie never really became a community project. All significant work was done as part of Fotango's sponsorship. When it had good momentum and sponsored developers, it needed a number of Parrot features that weren't yet available. At this point, Ponie has not been in active development for almost half a year and it's my unhappy duty to declare the project dead.
Norman Nunley is currently working to do a final extraction of unharvested improvements from the Ponie code before we put it out to pasture. Lots of good came out of Ponie, just not the good things we expected.
A number of very talented hackers are currently exploring multiple strategies to enable most Perl 5 code to run seamlessly along side Perl 6 in Parrot. Folks have already demonstrated a proof-of-concept Parrot VM embedded in the Perl 5 runtime. Work is underway on a Perl 5 to Perl 6 translator and the existing Perl 6 compiler on Parrot is the proof of concept for a similar implementation of a "regularized" Perl 5. At this point, it wouldn't be reasonable to bless any one right way forward but each of these techniques (and possibly others) could play a part in whatever "5 on 6" scheme we end up with. No matter what happens, we're committed to making your Perl 5 code play well with new Perl 6 code.
Perl 6 Project Manager