Rakudo Star 2012.04
On behalf of the Rakudo and Perl 6 development teams, I'm happy to announce the April 2012 release of "Rakudo Star", a useful and usable distribution of Perl 6. The tarball for the April 2012 release is available from github.
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 2012.04.1  of the Rakudo Perl 6 compiler , version 4.3 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.
much improved startup time
much more robust module precompilation
autovivification for arrays and hashes is implemented again
many phasers like PRE, POST and REDO are now implemented
improved support for calling C functions and modelling structs and arrays via NativeCall.pm6
now includes modules URI, LWP::Simple, jsonrpc and Bailador (a Perl 6 port of Dancer)
This release also contains a range of bug fixes, improvements to error reporting and better failure modes. Many more exceptions are thrown as typed exceptions.
Some notable incompatible changes from the previous release include
the 'lib' directory is not included in the default module search path anymore. You can manipulate the search path with the PERL6LIB environment variable
'defined' used to be a prefix operator, and is now a regular subroutine. This means you must updated code that relies 'defined' taking only one argument. For example 'defined $x ?? $a !! $b' should be written as '$x.defined ?? $a !! $b' or 'defined($x) ?? $a !! $b'.
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: * pack and unpack * 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 2012.04 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.
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 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 , ask on the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list, or join us on IRC #perl6 on freenode.
 https://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/blob/nom/docs/announce/2012.04.1  http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo  http://parrot.org/