Rakudo Star Release 2016.01


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

This is the first 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 2016.01.1 of the Rakudo Perl 6 compiler, version 2016.01 of MoarVM, plus various modules, documentation, and other resources collected from the Perl 6 community.

Some of the new compiler features since the last Rakudo Star release include:

  • Chained .grep calls on Supply fixed (RT #127297)
  • Fixed interaction with perl6-debug and precompilation that resulted in an endless loop
  • re-enabled warning when smart-matching against a True or False literal
  • Fixed internal error when reporting certain type errors (RT #127207)
  • Fixed rare "duplicate definition of symbol" errors (RT #127107)
  • Fixed interpolating of pairs with non-key strings into signatures
  • Fixed error when smart-matching Seq against a Set (RT #127166)
  • Improved error message when smart-matching against an S///-expression
  • Fixed bad interaction between EXPORTHOW and multiple declarations (RT #126566)
  • Fixed various issues regarding precompilation
  • Improved accuracy of Complex.sqrt
  • hyper now preserves order of results, as designed
  • Range.sum on an empty, numeric Range is now 0
  • Fixed Promise.allof() with an empty list of promises (RT #127101)
  • Improved message on premature virtual method call (RT #127097)
  • Better error message for module load failures of types that are part of the setting
  • Support for Readline in addition to Linenoise
  • Initial shaped array support
  • \r\n (Carriage Return/LineFeed) is now a single (synthetic) grapheme
  • Unicode support adheres to Unicode Annex #29
  • Unicode quotes are now also allowed in regular expressions
  • Improved newline support with "use newline" and updates to IO::Handle
  • Added List.head, List.tail, List.repeated methods
  • Str.encode now allows :replacement parameter for unencodable sequences
  • Str.split now accepts multiple strings to split on
  • New Range.int-bounds returns first/last value for integer ranges
  • Auto-generated meta-ops vivified by referring to them, instead of executing
  • Illegal assignment of different Numeric values now caught at compile time
  • &nextcallee implemented, which returns the routine that nextsame would invoke
  • Many speedups

Notable changes in modules shipped with Rakudo Star:

  • Bailador: The PSGI module by default now sets p6sgi instead of psgi
  • DBIish: Many fixes
  • Digest::MD5: Updated to conform to new newline handling
  • doc: p6doc -l added. p6doc now works for most non-core docs with pod
  • LWP::Simple: Replace "as Int" with proper coercion type to fix build
  • Linenoise: Many fixes
  • MIME::Base64: Adjust to pack being made experimental
  • panda: Large number of precomp and other bug fixes. Now depends on 6.c
  • Template::Mojo: use MONKEY-SEE-NO-EVAL
  • Shell::Command: removed "as"

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 [email protected].

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. 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 [email protected] mailing list, or join us on IRC #perl6 on freenode.