Rakudo Star 2012.05 released


Announce: Rakudo Star - a useful, usable, "early adopter" distribution of Perl 6

On behalf of the Rakudo and Perl 6 development teams, I'm happy to announce the May 2012 release of "Rakudo Star", a useful and usable distribution of Perl 6. The tarball for the May 2012 release is available from http://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 2012.05 [0] of the Rakudo Perl 6 compiler [1], version 4.4 of the Parrot Virtual Machine [2], 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.

  • -I and -M command-line options
  • support for non-Int enums
  • 'use' now accepts positional arguments and is able to import by tag name
  • 'import' now works
  • basic support for Version literals
  • %*ENV now propagates into subprocesses
  • basic implementation of pack and unpack ported from 'ng' branch
  • fff flip-flop operator is now implemented, ff has been improved
  • various new regex features and improvements

Rakudo now also includes the lib.pm module.

This release also contains a range of bug fixes, improvements to error reporting and better failure modes. More exceptions are thrown as typed exceptions.

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 2012.05 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.

[0] https://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/blob/master/docs/announce/2012.05 [1] http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo [2] http://parrot.org/