Rakudo Star 2012.05 released

Announce: Rakudo Star – a useful, usable, “early adopter” distribution of Perl 6

On behalf of the Rakudo and Perl 6 development teams, I’m happy to
announce the May 2012 release of “Rakudo Star”, a useful and
usable distribution of Perl 6. The tarball for the May 2012
release is available from http://github.com/rakudo/star/downloads.

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 2012.05 [0] of the
Rakudo Perl 6 compiler [1], version 4.4 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.

* -I and -M command-line options
* support for non-Int enums
* ‘use’ now accepts positional arguments and is able to import by tag name
* ‘import’ now works
* basic support for Version literals
* %*ENV now propagates into subprocesses
* basic implementation of pack and unpack ported from ‘ng’ branch
* fff flip-flop operator is now implemented, ff has been improved
* various new regex features and improvements

Rakudo now also includes the lib.pm module.

This release also contains a range of bug fixes, improvements to error
reporting and better failure modes. More exceptions are thrown
as typed exceptions.

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 http://perl6.org/compilers/features
that lists the known implemented and missing features of Rakudo Star
2012.05 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 rakudobug@perl.org.

See http://perl6.org/ 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 http://rakudo.org/how-to-help, ask on the perl6-compiler@perl.org
mailing list, or join us on IRC #perl6 on freenode.

[0] https://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/blob/nom/docs/announce/2012.05
[1] http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo
[2] http://parrot.org/

About moritz

Just another Perl 6 hacker
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4 Responses to Rakudo Star 2012.05 released

  1. Lyaskator says:

    I think one big problem with Rakudo at the moment is its slowness: if I give it a helloworld.pl with 1 line of code, it takes more than two seconds to work it out.
    Thus I wouldn’t call it “usable” at the moment, and it’s a pity, because I think Perl6 has got much things to offer.

    • sisar says:

      Are you sure that you are using the latest version of Rakudo?
      You can find out your Rakudo’s version like this:
      $ perl6 --version
      This is perl6 version 2012.05-255-ga2bacb6 built on parrot 4.4.0 revision RELEASE_4_4_0

      The latest release is 2012.05.

      • Lyaskator says:

        perl6 –version returns:
        This is perl6 version 2012.05 built on parrot 4.4.0 revision 0

        I may have exaggerated a bit: let’s create a file containing:
        say “Hi”

        time perl6 hello.pl gives me:
        real 0m0.905s
        user 0m0.740s
        sys 0m0.117s

        But I still think it is slow, when in comparison I run `time perl hello.pl` on a file containing print “Hi” and get 0m0.004s

    • raiph says:

      Patrick recently published a presentation on Rakudo performance: http://pmichaud.com/2012/pres/yapcna-perflt/slides/start.html

      Some highlights:

      Rakudo has a competitive startup time if Perl 5 is combined with modules that give Perl 5 some of the power of Perl 6. (For example Moose.)

      Startup speed improved 6 fold between the July 2011 and May 2012 releases (to 0.09 seconds for the system Patrick used).

      Rakudo has been gaining speed each month and looks set to do so for another year or two.

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