Announce: Rakudo Star Release 2016.11

On behalf of the Rakudo and Perl 6 development teams, I’m pleased to
announce the November 2016 release of “Rakudo Star”, a useful and usable
production distribution of Perl 6. The tarball for the November 2016 release
is available from http://rakudo.org/downloads/star/.

This is the fifth post-Christmas (production) release of Rakudo Star and
implements Perl v6.c. It comes with support for the MoarVM backend (all
module tests pass on supported platforms).

Please note that this release of Rakudo Star is not fully functional with
the JVM backend from the Rakudo compiler. Please use the MoarVM backend
only.

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 2016.11 of the Rakudo Perl 6 compiler,
version 2016.11 of MoarVM, plus various modules, documentation, and
other resources collected from the Perl 6 community.

The changes in this release are outlined below:

New in 2016.11:

Fixes:
+ Various improvements to warning/error-reporting
+ Fixed assigning values to shaped arrays through iterators [839c762]
+ Fixed Str.Int not failing on numerics with combining characters [d540fc8]
+ [JVM] Fixed <a b c>.antipairs breakage [dd7b055]
+ defined routine now correctly authothreads with Junctions [189cb23]
+ Fixed poor randomness when .pick()ing on ranges with >32-bit numbers [34e515d]
+ Fixed infix:<x> silencing Failures [2dd0ddb]
+ Fixed edge case in is-approx that triggers DivByZero exception [f7770ed]
+ (Windows) Fixed returning of an error even when succeeding in mkdir [208a4c2]
+ (Windows) Fixed precomp unable to rename a newly compiled file [44a4c75]
+ (Test.pm) Fixed indent of multi-line diag() and test failure messages [43dbc96]
+ Fixed a callframe crash due to boxing of NULL filenames [200364a]
+ ∞ ≅ ∞ now gives True [4f3681b]
+ Fixed oversharing with grammars used by multiple threads [7a456ff]
+ Fixed incorrect calculations performed by acotan(num) [8e9fd0a]
+ Fixed incorrect calculations performed by asinh(num)/acosh(num) [a7e801f]
+ Fixed acosh return values for large negative numbers [5fe8cf7]
+ asinh(-∞) now returns -∞ instead of NaN [74d0e36]
+ atanh(1) now returns ∞ instead of throwing [906719c][66726e8]
+ Fixed missing close in IO::Path.slurp(:bin) [697a0ae]
+ :U QuantHashes now auto-vivify to their correct type and not Hash [79bb867]
+ Mix/MixHash.Bag/BagHash coersion now ignores negative weights [87bba04]
+ arity-0 infix:<Z> now returns a Seq instead of a List [3fdae43]
+ Fix augment of a nested package [87880ca]
+ Smartmatch with Regex variable now returns a Match instead of Bool [5ac593e]
+ Empty ()[0] now returns Nil instead of False [f50e39b]
+ Failed IO::Socket::Async connection no longer produces unexpected crash [f50e39b]
+ Quitting Supplies with no QUIT phasers no longer unexpectedly crash [f50e39b]
+ Fixed NativeCall issues on big endian machines [627a77e]
+ Fixed broken handling of $/ in some uses of `.match` [ba152bd]
+ Fixed Lock.protect not releasing the lock on control exceptions [48c2af6]
+ MoarVM now builds on any version of macOS [b4dfed2]
+ Fixed concurrency crashes due to garbage collection [6dc5074]
+ Fixed race condition in EmptyIterator [ed2631c]
+ Fixed hang with multi-threaded long-running NativeCall calls [f99d958]
+ Made my @a[10] = ^Inf work [aedb8e7]
+ Fixed [;]:delete [3b9c4c9]
+ Fixed incorrect handling of negative weights in ∪ operator [e10f767]
+ duckmap now preserves types of Iterables [43cb55f]
+ Fixed premature overflow to Inf with large Num literals [729d7e3]
+ Fixed race condition in NativeCall callsite used by multiple threads [49fd825]
+ Fixed instabilities in programs launching many threads at startup [0134132]
+ Fixed crash when reporting X::Composition::NotComposable or
X::Inheritance::Unsupported exceptions [a822bcf]
+ Fixed clock_gettime issue on macOS [ee8ae92]
+ Fixed SEGV in multi-threaded programs with strings-as-strands [395f369]
+ `regex` TOP Grammar rule will now backtrack if needed [4ccb2f3]
+ Fixed .rotate/.reverse on 1-dimmed arrays assigning to self [2d56751]
+ Fixed exponentiation involving zeros for Complex numbers [7f32243]
+ Fixed Label.gist [29db214][53d7b72]
+ Fixed certain edge cases of incorrect stringification of Rationals
with .Str, .perl, and .base [b5aa3c5]

Additions:
+ Added TWEAK submethod for object construction [fdc90a2][9409d68]
+ Added DateTime.hh-mm-ss [bf51eca]
+ Added parse-base routine [7e21a24]
+ is-approx with no explicit tolerances now uses more complex algorithm to
choose a tolerance to use (same as old is_approx) [82432a4]
+ on failure, is-approx now displays actual values received [b4fe680]
+ Added Iterator.skip-one to skip a single value [71a01e9]
+ Added Iterator.skip-at-least to skip several values [8d357af]
+ Re-imagined Str.match [b7201a8]:
+ the family of :nth is now lazy will return whatever can find
+ non-monotonically increasing :nth iterator values will now die
+ Str.match/subst/subst-mutate now have :as adverb [1b95636][c9a24d9][aaec517]
+ &infix: now works with Setty objects [d92e1ad]
+ :ov and :ex adverbs are now illegal in Str.subst [b90c741]
+ Made nextwith/samewith/nextsame/callwith to be real subroutines [70a367d]
+ Added CX::Emit and CX::Done control exceptions [07eeea8]
+ Setty.Mix/.MixHash coercers now use Int weights instead of Bool [7ba7eb4]
+ Implemented :kv,:p,:k,:v on 1-element multidim [;] [764cfcd]
+ .chrs can now also accepts codepoint numbers as Str [4ae3f23]
+ Added support for compilation of Rakudo on Solaris [a43b0c1]
+ IterationEnd.perl/gist/Str now returns text “IterationEnd” [59bb1b1]
+ Added X::Syntax::Number::InvalidCharacter exception [2faa55b]
+ .reverse/rotate on 1-dimmed arrays are now nodal [cd765e6]
+ .line and .file on core Code now references original source files [b068e3a]
+ .rethrow now works on unthrown exceptions [58a4826]
+ All Reals now accept `Whatever` as the second argument to .base() [c1d2599]
+ sub MAIN usage message shows possible Enum values if param is
named and is an Enum [a3be654]

Efficiency:
+ Made slip(@a) about 1.2x faster [37d0e46]
+ Made initialization of 2+dimmed array 10x to 16x faster [dfb58d4]
+ Str.match is now about 5% faster [4fc17df]
+ Str.match with :nth feature is now about 2x faster [41e2572]
+ my @a = Str.match(…) is now about 5% faster [e472420]
+ Str.comb(Regex) is now about 7x faster [1794328]
+ Simple Str.subst/subst-mutate is now about 30% faster [364e67b]
+ Match.Str|prematch|postmatch is now about 2x faster [e65d931]
+ Match.Bool is now about 1% faster (not much, but used a lot) [1fce095]
+ Made ~~ /foo/ faster: 2% for successful/6% for failed matches [05b65d0]
+ Made <foo bar baz> ~~ /foo/ about 2x faster [e4dc8b6]
+ Made %h ~~ /foo/ about 2x faster [33eeb32]
+ Frequent accesses of multiple adverbs (e.g. %h<a>:p:exists)
is now 2x faster [f22f894]
+ Made infix: faster: Str: 14x, type: 10x, Range: 3.5x,
Int|Seq|Hash: 1.5x, Array: 1.2x [bc7fcc6]
+ IO::Spec::Unix.canonpath is now 7x to 50x faster [f3f00fb]
+ Baggy.roll/pick is now about 10% faster [fc47bbf]
+ Made copying shaped arrays 10x to 20x faster [a1d8e93][0cf7b36][d27ecfa]
+ Made setting up a shaped array 2x as fast [f06e4c3]
+ Made creation of typed shaped arrays 15% faster [f5bf6c1]
+ Made 2d/3d array accesses about 7x as fast [d3a0907]
+ Made AT-POS on 1,2,3dim arrays about 20x faster [feb7bcb]
+ Made creating a shaped array about 50% faster [1293188][576f3a1]
+ Made .AT-POS on 3+ dimmed arrays 20% faster [1bb5aad]
+ Made over-indexed .AT-POS on 1,2,3 dimmed arrays about 10% faster [1bb5aad]
+ Made multi-dimmed ASSIGN-POS about 30% faster [5b2bdeb]
+ Made .ASSIGN-POS for 1,2,3dimmed arrays about 40x faster [050cf72]
+ Made n-dimmed .EXISTS-POS about 1.5x faster [006f008]
+ Made .EXISTS-POS for 1,2,3dimmed arrays about 10x faster [b1c41b7]
+ Made n-dimmed DELETE-POS about 1.3x faster [6ccecb1]
+ Made .DELETE-POS for 1,2,3dimmed arrays about 20x faster [55b9e90]
+ Made n-dimmed BIND-POS about 1.3x faster [2827edb]
+ Made .BIND-POS for 1,2,3dimmed arrays about 20x faster [9f94525]
+ Made @a[10].STORE at least as fast as @a.STORE [8064ff1]
+ Made .kv on shaped Arrays about 4x faster [e42b68e]
+ Made .pairs/.antipairs on shaped Arrays about 2.8x faster [0f2566a][f608a33]
+ Made List.kv about 30% faster [7a2baf4]
+ for loops on 1-dimmed arrays are now 3x faster [ed36e60]
+ .kv on 1-dimmed arrays is now 7x faster [608de26]
+ .pairs/.antipairs on 1-dimmed arrays is now 3x faster [b7d9537][1c425f9]
+ postcircumfix[;] on 2/3 dimmed arrays is now 9x faster [0b97362]
+ Assignment to [;] for 2/3 dimmed arrays is now 10x faster [ce85ba3]
+ [;]:exists for 2/3 dimmed arrays is now 7x faster [e3e3fef]
+ [;]:delete for 2/3 dimmed arrays is now 10x faster [3b9c4c9]
+ [;] := foo for 2/3 dimmed arrays is now 10x faster [eaf4132]
+ .iterator and .values on shaped arrays are now about 4x faster [736ab11]
+ Fixed optimization of shaped arrays that gives 10% gain on simple `for`
loops and likely will give larger gains on bigger programs [b7e632e]
+ Made starting MappyIterator faster, affecting all Hash/Map/Baggy iterator
methods. 2-elem Hash iteration is 1.6x faster [97fb6c2]
+ Made starting a grepper faster: .grep on with no adverbs on 2-element list
is now 20% faster [077c8f0]
+ Made Date/DateTime creation 20% faster [0e7f480]
+ Hashes now use 4 (32-bit) or 8 (64-bit) bytes less memory per stored item [395f369]
+ Rational.Str is now about 40% faster [b5aa3c5]
+ Rational.base is now about 30% faster [b5aa3c5]
+ Various streamlining of code that’s hard to measure the final impact of

Notable changes in modules shipped with Rakudo Star:

+ DBIish: Prepare tests for lexical module loading and do not rely on your dependencies to load modules
+ Pod-To-HTML: Bump version and use a separate element as anchor for “to top” links
+ Terminal-ANSIColor: Update Pod documentation and support 256-color and 24-bit RGB modes
+ doc: Large number of changes – too many to detail here
+ json_fast: Speed gains
+ panda: Explicitly use Panda::Project as we use it in class Panda
+ perl6-lwp-simple: Change to http.perl6.org since the main site is going https and add NO_NETWORK_TESTING

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:

* advanced macros
* non-blocking I/O (in progress)
* some bits of Synopsis 9 and 11

There is an online resource at http://perl6.org/compilers/features
that lists the known implemented and missing features of Rakudo’s
backends 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, presentations,
reference materials, design documents, and other supporting resources.
Some Perl 6 tutorials are available under the “docs” directory 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.

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