Rakudo Star 2014.01 released

2014-01-31

Announce: Rakudo Star Release 2014.01

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 January 2014 release of "Rakudo Star", a useful and usable distribution of Perl 6. The tarball for the January 2014 release is available from http://rakudo.org/downloads/star/. A Windows .MSI version of Rakudo star is available in the downloads area as well.

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 2014.01 of the Rakudo Perl 6 compiler, version 5.9.0 of the Parrot Virtual Machine, plus various modules, documentation, and other resources collected from the Perl 6 community.

https://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/blob/nom/docs/announce/2014.01.md

Some of the new features added to this release include:

  • The eval sub and method are now spelled EVAL
  • Numeric.narrow to coerce to narrowest type possible
  • Can now supply blocks with multiple arguments as sequence endpoints
  • Method calls and hash/list access on Nil give Nil

This release also contains a range of bug fixes, improvements to error reporting and better failure modes.

Please note that this release of Rakudo Star does not support the JVM nor the MoarVM backends from the Rakudo compiler. While the other backends mostly implement the same features as the Parrot backend, many bits are still missing, most prominently the native call interface. We hope to provide a JVM-based and MoarVM-based Rakudo Star releases soon.

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
  • threads and concurrency (in work for the JVM backend)
  • Unicode strings at levels other than codepoints
  • interactive readline that understands Unicode
  • non-blocking I/O
  • much 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 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. A 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.