Rakudo Star (a “usable Perl 6″) to be released by July 29

As many of you know, last summer we announced that we would be releasing a “usable release of Rakudo Perl 6” to be called “Rakudo Star” in the second quarter of 2010. We later refined our target release date to be April 2010.

Until March of this year we were well on track to meet the April 2010 release date, but then I had an family medical emergency that took me away from Perl 6 development. As a result of my situation, the Rakudo and Perl 6 team met online in early March and decided that an April release date would be unrealistic, and we instead focused our efforts on trying to make a June release for Rakudo Star, to keep with our original “second quarter 2010″ goal.

Ultimately it ended up being twelve weeks before I was able to return to active Perl 6 development (i.e., late May). During my absence the others on the Rakudo and Perl 6 team made incredible progress on Rakudo Perl 6; I think their progress shows that a truly capable (and growing) team of developers has coalesced around Rakudo Perl. Thanks to their efforts, as of late May the compiler had nearly everything we identified as critical for Rakudo Star in the ROADMAP, with only a few key features blocking on my personal participation. We therefore felt we still had a good likelihood of meeting the June 2010 target, and continued to work with that goal in mind.

As part of planning this week’s Parrot and Rakudo releases, we all met online to solidify our plans for the Rakudo Star release. After much discussion, we decided that although we could likely make some sort of Rakudo Star release in June, there was too much risk that releasing in June would fall well short of our vision of what we want Rakudo Star to be.

Therefore, we’ve decided to to let the release date slip one more month and release Rakudo Star not later than July 29, 2010. We are firmly committed to the July 29 date; whatever we have available then, that’s what we release. I know that another delay will be frustrating to many (it is very frustrating to me), and that some will undoubtedly cite this delay as yet more “evidence” that there will never be a release of Perl 6. But given the circumstances, I think we feel that we promote Perl 6 better by moving the release date by a month than we would by releasing something less than our vision.

For those who might claim that we should “release early”, we are still continuing to make regular monthly compiler releases. The most recent release (#30, “Kiev”) comes with a lot of improvements over previous releases, and I truly expect the next release (#31, “Atlanta”) to continue the trend. As always, we continue to invite people to try out the compiler releases and to visit the Perl 6 website to see what Perl 6 is already doing today.

Finally, on a personal note, my wife and I sincerely appreciate the ongoing support, prayers, and understanding we have received from the Perl community (and especially the Rakudo and Perl 6 teams) during these difficult times. While my wife is still not “out of the woods” yet, things are far better now than they were in the Spring, and we continue to work towards and pray for her full recovery.

More details about the Rakudo Star release will be forthcoming over the next couple of weeks.

Pm

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