Rakudo Star 2012.06 released

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 https://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 2012.06 of the
Rakudo Perl 6 compiler, version 4.5 of the Parrot Virtual Machine, 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 improvements
  • 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 them.

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 http://perl6.org/compilers/features 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 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.

About moritz

Just another Perl 6 hacker
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5 Responses to Rakudo Star 2012.06 released

  1. Pete Rudenko says:

    Being an WinXP Perl5 person ( not a C ‘sharp’ie ), an MSI distribution keeps life simple. If you review the github download statistics, you’ll notice a huge jump in number of downloads each time you did a Win binary release. So, there’s lots of folks out ther like me who are at least curious about Perl6 but don’t necessarily have skills or time to deal with make, tarballs, git, got, get, and all the other associated C world paraphernalia. ( Earlier versions of Parrot installations were very educational, but turned out to be real nighmares. ) Being a seasoned software developer, all to often I see us, Geeks, ignoring users, even ourselves. Installations, including good extensive documentation, should be just a few clicks away. SO… kindly consider an MSI release.

    • pmichaud says:

      Getting a better Windows install is indeed very much on our minds lately. One of the challenges we have is that we have only one active developer who regularly works with Windows, so our collective skill set in this regard is as yet quite limited.

      I’ll make it a personal goal to get a process in place for regular Windows MSI releases by the next Star release; failing that, we’ll put out a call for Windows-based contributors who would be willing to help us take on this task.

      Thanks!

      Pm

    • pmichaud says:

      Just a note that Rakudo 2012.07 has a .msi release. I’m still learning how to do .msi releases properly — so there may be some issues, but at least we have one and the tools in place to improve it over time.

      Thanks again!

      Pm

  2. James says:

    I keep getting this error when building 2012.6 on my Linux box. What could I be doing wrong?

    ./perl6 –setting=NULL –optimize=3 –target=pir –stagestats –output=src/gen/CORE.setting.pir src/gen/CORE.setting
    error:imcc:loadlib directive could not find library `nqp_dyncall_ops’
    in file ‘(file unknown)’ line 1
    make[1]: *** [CORE.setting.pbc] Error 1
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/build/rakudo-star-2012.06/rakudo-2012.06′
    make: *** [rakudo-install] Error 2

    • pmichaud says:

      Could you send this information to our bug tracker at rakudobug@perl.org ? In the message, also let us know what version of Linux you’re using, and also the contents of the “config.status” file. We’ll see if we can track down the problem from there.

      Thanks!

      Pm