Windows .msi available for Rakudo Star 2012.07

I’m pleased to announce that starting with the current Rakudo Star release (2012.07), we will now be providing Windows .msi distributions with precompiled binaries for Rakudo Star. The .msi distribution is available in the same location as other Rakudo Star releases, at https://github.com/rakudo/star/downloads/ .

On this site, on IRC, and at YAPC::NA 2012 I heard many people comment that Windows users really wanted a binary install option. We’ve occasionally done .msi and .exe installers for Rakudo Star releases in the past, but didn’t have any dedicated tools or sufficient environments to be able to produce them consistently each month. So, this month I dedicated some time to create scripts and tools that can automate much of the process of building .msi distributions from the Rakudo Star release tarballs. Over the next couple of weeks I will be documenting the process so that others can hopefully follow it as well. With the new tools in place I think we’ll be able to consistently provide Rakudo .msi distributions within a few days (if not hours) of each monthly tarball release.

(At this time I can’t guarantee that .msi files will always be published at the same time
as the standard tarballs, because some monthly release managers may not have access to a suitable Widnows environments for building the .msi. Bear with us while we work out the full release details. :-) )

This is still a newish process for us, so if you encounter any problems with the .msi distribution, let us know on IRC #perl6, file a bug ticket, or send a note to perl6-users@perl.org or perl6-compiler@perl.org.

Enjoy!

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2 Responses to Windows .msi available for Rakudo Star 2012.07

  1. Andrew J says:

    FYI both Fedora and Ubuntu now package versions of the MinGW GCC tool-set that allow Windows executables to be cross-built on a Linux host, which runs much faster than building them natively on Windows. I don’t know if they can also create a .msi file though. I recently used these to add a Linux-to-Windows cross-build capability to a project I’m responsible for. This project’s build system was designed for simultaneous cross-building of multiple platforms, so it was actually very easy to do with the MinGW cross-compiler tools; the Parrot and Rakudo build system(s) might be a different matter though.

  2. Rakudo certainly looks impressive, but I’m battling with the source code format from day one. The Windows compiler chokes on a file with any special character in a comment (“Malformed UTF-8 string”), even if the source file is Unicode text. I’ve tried all available formats (DOS text, Unix text, Unicode, Unicode big endian), but no sir, you can’t have an accented letter in a comment. Looks like string encoding handling is not very mature yet.

    Anyway, all in all it’s an exciting product, and I will wait for these issues to get resolved. It’s well worth.

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