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Postings from June 2002
ANN: Perl 5.8.0 Release Candidate 1
From: Craig A. Berry
June 1, 2002 15:48
ANN: Perl 5.8.0 Release Candidate 1
Message ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
=head1 Perl 5.8.0 Release Candidate 1
The Perl 5 developer team is pleased to announce the Release Candidate 1
of Perl 5.8.0.
Please test extensively.
Your help in testing the upcoming perl 5.8.0 is much appreciated.
This is a source code release, not a binary release. You will need a
C development environment.
Most of the details in the rest of the release announcement below
apply as much to VMS as to any other platform. However, it's
probably best to start with the README.vms document included in the
distribution. Please report both successes and failures to vmsperl
at perl dot org. Recent development snapshots have been looking
very good on OpenVMS Alpha v7.1 and later; please test on VAX and
older OS versions as you are able.
Feel free to write to vmsperl at perl dot org if you have read the
instructions but still run into trouble getting the configuration and
build to work. When writing for any reason, please include full
details of your build environment.
The prerequisites for building Perl on VMS are:
DEC/Compaq C 5.2 or later
MMS or MMK
All but the compiler and MMS are available from
http://www.openvms.compaq.com/freeware/freeware50/ and other freeware
I now return you to the general release announcement [Craig Berry].
Please note that Perl 5.8.0 is a major new release of Perl containing
many new features, enhancements to existing features and bug fixes.
This version is "Release Candidate 1"; the purpose of this version is
to permit and encourage the Perl community to conduct extensive
testing and to report problems so that we, and the owners of affected
Perl packages, have an opportunity to correct them.
Because the process of testing the vast quantity of Perl software will
take time, and because issues uncovered by this testing may result in
further changes or corrections to Perl 5.8.0 and the various Perl packages,
WE DO NOT RECOMMEND USING RELEASE CANDIDATE 1 IN A PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT.
Please wait for the final version of Perl 5.8.0 for production use.
As always, you should conduct an appropriate level of testing before
using any new product in your production environment.
As specified in the licenses for Perl (see the files named Artistic
or Copying), THIS PACKAGE IS PROVIDED WITH ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
New Release Candidates will come out about weekly until we are
satisfied with the results, at which point the final 5.8.0 will
=head1 Where To Get It
The 5.8.0 RC1 is now available at
and as the CPAN mirrors catch up, in the src/ subdirectory of
your nearest friendly CPAN mirror.
The size of the file is 10913451 bytes and the MD5 checksum for the file is
This release should work in all UNIX/Linux and Microsoft environments,
and in other environments which have POSIX/UNIX interfaces, such as
BeOS, Cygwin, MPE/iX, NetWare, OS/2, QNX, VMS, VOS, and z/OS,
and the appropriate C compilation environment.
A MacOS Classic port requires a little bit more work but it should
become available soon-- follow http://dev.macperl.org/
=head1 Why To Get It
For the list of changes in 5.8.0 see the pod/perldelta.pod, available
separately online at
(and again, eventually at all CPAN mirrors-- note, though, that these
URLs are not permanent, they will be removed when the final 5.8.0 is
The .tgz file will unpack into a directory called "perl-5.8.0-RC1".
=head1 How To Do It
You will configure, build, and test Perl. Below is a short summary,
for the full story read the "INSTALL" file.
If you are in a UNIX-like system, you can setup Perl for compilation
by changing into the "perl-5.8.0-RC1" directory and issuing the
sh Configure -des
This will simply select all the defaults for your system, INCLUDING
defaulting to install in the usual location for production software.
(So don't run make install if you run Configure this way!)
If you are not in a UNIX-like system (say, Win32), please read the
"INSTALL" file and any possible platform specific README files for
further instructions, and skip the parts below that don't apply to
If you want to go through Configure interactively (for example
to change the default installation directories), do just
To build Perl issue the command
Note that the build times can vary considerably. Perl 5.8.0 is about
twice the size of 5.6.1, and some source code files are quite large,
so your compiler might have hard time processing them. On a fast
modern system with lots of CPU and memory the build can be a matter of
ten minutes, but on slower/older/more heavily loaded systems it can
take up to eight hours, while half an hour to an hour being common.
After the build has finished, it's time to test the build.
Again, testing times vary a lot. Perl 5.8.0 has more than five times
the tests of Perl 5.6.1. Fifteen minutes to half an hour is quite
normal, but a slow system may easily take an hour or more. If all
tests are successful, "make test" will say "All tests successful"
If all tests are not successful, you may get a more detailed report
by changing to the t/ subdirectory and running the "harness" script,
something like this
You may need to set up your dynamic library path before that
(the final message of "make test" should tell all the needed details).
The more detailed report will be very useful when your report problems.
Knowing your exact configuration is essential, too: usually running the
"myconfig" script from the build directory produces this information.
Note that some systems or configurations have known problems,
see perldelta for details, no need to report them.
In case you still see errors, please document them via the perlbug
system, as detailed in the "INSTALL" file, section "Reporting Problems".
Finally note that if you happen to have a "less common" platform, like
some of the rarer UNIXes, or something even more exotic, we will be
glad to hear even of successes, not just about possible problems.
Once you are happy with the test results of Perl itself (or you are
just feeling extraordinarily brave), you may consider installing it.
The Perl development team has tried to guarantee that popular Perl
applications like CGI, LWP, mod_perl and DBI/DBD work with 5.8.0.
Note "work", not necessarily "work without warnings": for example
DBD::Oracle works, but during compilation and testing you may see
various warnings. Also in some cases not all the functionality of
the modules may be available (yet).
THIS IS A REAL NEW PERL RELEASE THAT IS BINARY INCOMPATIBLE WITH ANY
PREVIOUS PERL RELEASE. THIS MEANS THAT YOUR OLD EXTENSIONS (.xs code,
those Perl modules requiring a C compiler) WILL NOT WORK AND WILL HAVE
TO BE RECOMPILED. (Pure Perl modules should continue working.)
INSTALLING THIS PERL RELEASE WILL OVERWRITE YOUR CURRENT PERL RELEASE.
(For example, /usr/bin/perl will become Perl 5.8.0.)
DO NOT INSTALL THIS INTO PRODUCTION USE UNLESS YOU REALLY MEAN IT.
If you still feel like installing this, you can do so by "make install".
If you want to install this, but want to install it into some less
dangerous place (and not overwrite your current installation),
do the following
sh Configure -des -Dprefix=/test/perl580 -Uinstallusrbinperl
and then the "make install". The -Dprefix will place the Perl
installation at the said directory (the Perl executable will be
/test/perl580/bin/perl), and the -Uinstallusrbinperl will avoid
overwriting /usr/bin/perl with a copy of the Perl 5.8.0 executable.
=head1 Testing The Perl Installation
You should test both your own code, and other code that you use.
=head2 Testing Your Own Code
Test your own code with perl 5.8.0, but in case of surprises read the
perldelta.pod carefully before judging something as a bug. In some
cases the behaviour of Perl has changed.
=head2 Testing Perl Modules
You should try reinstalling your favourite CPAN modules to guarantee
that they will continue working under Perl 5.8.
Note that if you find some module either failing its tests or you see
the tests emitting warning messages, please first and foremost report
these problems to the author of the module. Advise him/her about the
impending 5.8.0 release and where to get the RC1 (you might for example
point the author to this very message). Since there are hundreds of
modules available, the Perl 5 developer team is not qualified to be
experts on all of them; it is much faster if the module author resolves
In some cases you may also consider contacting some mailing lists
to ask for help (and to spread awareness of the upcoming 5.8.0),
for example if your operating system or the modules have mailing
lists of their own.
on behalf of the Perl 5 developer team
ANN: Perl 5.8.0 Release Candidate 1
by Craig A. Berry