By James E Keenan (‎kid51‎) from
Date: Tuesday, 22 June 2010 15:30
Duration: 20 minutes
Target audience: Intermediate
Language: English
Tags: corehackers extutils::parsexs xs xsubpp

Hacking on Ancient Perl: Corehacking and ExtUtils::ParseXS

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The most widely used method of embedding C code in Perl 5 is XS. It's used to compile C code in modules that are part of the Perl 5 core distribution, and it's used in approximately ten percent of all distributions on CPAN.

To transform XS code into C code capable of compilation, the code is passed through Larry Wall's 'xsubpp' program. xsubpp modularized as ExtUtils::ParseXS by Ken Wiliams in the early part of this decade.

Following the corehackers discussion at YAPC::NA::2009 in Pittsburgh, ExtUtils::ParseXS's current maintainer called for a refactoring of the module to improve its readability, extend its testability and lay the basis for future improvements in its functionality.

This talk describes our progress toward that goal. Among other things, the talk asks: How do you guarantee that while you are giving an old program a complete makeover, you are doing no harm to the thousands of other programs that currently depend on your target program?

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