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O'Reilly Open Source Convention
Sheraton San Diego Hotel, San Diego, CA
July 23-27, 2001

News Coverage


Perl on the Microsoft .NET Framework

Jan Dubois

Track: Perl Conference 5
Date: Thursday, July 26
Time: 3:45pm - 4:30pm
Location: Grande Ballroom B

This talk shows how Perl can be used on the Microsoft .NET Framework. It will start with a brief overview of .NET and especially the .NET Framework, which is the new language-neutral virtual execution environment from Microsoft.

The first part of this talk will describe the initial "Perl for .NET Research" attempt to create a Perl compiler generating native IL (Intermediate Language of the .NET runtime) using a custom B::* backend module. A sample will be shown that uses an abstract base class written in Visual Basic with some of the pure virtual methods implemented in Perl.

As an alternate approach, ActiveState has implemented "Perl for .NET Proxy", which creates proxy objects living inside the .NET runtime but executing the actual Perl code on the outside. Since it is running within a standard Perl interpreter, even hard to compile language constructs like string eval() or runtime require() are supported. This approach also makes all the CPAN modules containing XS code available.

The talk will finish with some thoughts for Perl 6: What can we do to make it easier to compile Perl to strongly typed execution environments? How could the .NET runtime be enhanced to better support dynamic languages? Why do we need a higher level of abstraction for XS extension code?

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