Mutagenic modules FAQ

Here are a few questions which I've been asked about this talk after I delivered a preliminary version to If your question isn't here then either collar me at the conference or send me email.
What does mutagenic mean?
My dictionary (the Shorter Oxford) says Causing or capable of causing mutation. It's appropriate enough to make some kind of sense, as well as sounding suitably scary :-)
How far have you got with the B::Parse module mentioned at the end of the talk?
I haven't started working on it yet. There are several things that need to be done first: most importantly there is a crippling limitation of compiler backends in general, and B::Deparse in particular, which needs to overcome before it could be made to work properly.
How does all this relate to Perl 6?
It's impossible to give a definitive answer until we can see the final shape that Perl 6 is going to take. However we can be fairly sure that Perl 6 will be even more flexible than Perl 5, particularly in the way that it's parsed. It should create some exciting new possibilities in this area.
How does it relate to Damian Conway's work on filtering and parsing?
A lot of Dr Conway's work involves taking extraordinary and unlikely-seeming structures, and transforming them into Perl code. His Lingua::Romana::Perligata is a fine example. The projected Parse::Perl module will provide a general mechanism for doing this sort of thing.

On one interpretation, that's the opposite of what I'm trying to do. I want to be able to take perfectly ordinary Perl code and make it behave in new and strange ways. Of course there's no reason that you couldn't combine the two, if you were feeling especially evil.

How does it relate to Simon Cozens's B::Generate module?
That's similar to the previous question. B::Generate enables one to write (among other things) compilers which will turn other languages into Perl bytecode.
Have you thought of such-and-such an idea?
Probably not, but I'd like to hear about it. Send me an email; or accost me at the conference if you're still here, or at a meeting if you live in London.
Robin Houston /