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Rakudo Star release 20120.06 - a useful, usable, "early adopter"distribution of Perl 6

Moritz Lenz
June 30, 2012 16:42
Rakudo Star release 20120.06 - a useful, usable, "early adopter"distribution of Perl 6
Message ID:
On behalf of the Rakudo and Perl 6 development teams, I'm happy to
announce the June 2012 release of "Rakudo Star", a useful and
usable distribution of Perl 6.  The tarball for the June 2012
release is available from <>.

In the Perl 6 world, we make a distinction between the language
("Perl 6") and specific implementations of the language such as
"Rakudo Perl".  This Star release includes release 2012.06 [0] of the
Rakudo Perl 6 compiler [1], version 4.5 of the Parrot Virtual
Machine [2], and various modules, documentation, and other
resources collected from the Perl 6 community.

Here are some of the major improvements in this release over the
previous distribution release.

* Transitive longest-token matching in protoregexes

* Longest token matching for alternations

* Enhanced list and .map handling, including laziness fixes and performance

* Can use an argument list with require

* Compile time errors in loaded modules now show a module loading backtrace

* String to number conversion now recognizes radix notation

* The &push and &unshift functions can now autovivify

* Rakudo is now compiled with the same regex engine that user-space
  regexes use; some parsing bugs are fixed as a result

* p6doc is now shipped with Rakudo Star. It is a small collection of
  user-oriented documentation, along with the `p6doc` script for viewing

This release also contains a range of bug fixes, improvements to error
reporting and better failure modes. More exceptions are thrown as typed
exceptions, and more meta-model errors have been fixed to properly
report line numbers.

This release contains an important breaking change to number parsing.
Previously, a string such as "foo" would numify to 0. Now this will
return a Failure.

There are some key features of Perl 6 that Rakudo Star does not
yet handle appropriately, although they will appear in upcoming
releases.  Some of the not-quite-there features include:

  * macros
  * threads and concurrency
  * Unicode strings at levels other than codepoints
  * interactive readline that understands Unicode
  * non-blocking I/O
  * much of Synopsis 9

There is a new online resource at
that lists the known implemented and missing features of Rakudo Star
2012.06 and other Perl 6 implementations.

In many places we've tried to make Rakudo smart enough to inform the
programmer that a given feature isn't implemented, but there are
many that we've missed.  Bug reports about missing and broken
features are welcomed at <>.

See for links to much more information about
Perl 6, including documentation, example code, tutorials, reference
materials, specification documents, and other supporting resources.
An updated draft of a Perl 6 book is available as
<docs/UsingPerl6-draft.pdf> in the release tarball.

The development team thanks all of the contributors and sponsors
for making Rakudo Star possible.  If you would like to contribute,
see <>, ask on the
mailing list, or join us on IRC #perl6 on freenode.

[2] Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
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