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Major changes since 5.6.1

by thor (Priest)
on Jan 06, 2006 at 17:55 UTC ( #521570=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
thor has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi all,

Looking back to the last "major" release of Perl (and perl for the pedants in the room), what have been the major changes from 5.6.1 until now? I know, I can read the perl5xydelta pods (and did), but they're pretty dry and going through 10 or so of them, I can't help but feel that I'm missing something. Some of the things I came up with:

  • In-memory file handles
  • Better Unicode support
  • Sorting algorithm changed (from quicksort to mergesort)
  • Updated core modules
  • reverse optimized for certain situations
  • Bug fixes
  • ...

thor

The only easy day was yesterday

Comment on Major changes since 5.6.1
Re: Major changes since 5.6.1
by xdg (Monsignor) on Jan 06, 2006 at 18:40 UTC

    You might want to look at RFC: perlfeaturedelta, but I don't know if it ever reached completion or has been maintained.

    -xdg

    Code written by xdg and posted on PerlMonks is public domain. It is provided as is with no warranties, express or implied, of any kind. Posted code may not have been tested. Use of posted code is at your own risk.

Re: Major changes since 5.6.1
by ikegami (Pope) on Jan 06, 2006 at 19:17 UTC

    The two I've seen come up on PerlMonks are:

    • The addition of groupings (parens) in pack and unpack.
    • open(my $fh, '>', \$var).
Re: Major changes since 5.6.1
by ambrus (Abbot) on Jan 06, 2006 at 19:38 UTC

    As you've already mentioned, support for character and byte strings is the most important new feature. In connection with localization, there's the Encode module which allows for character set conversions; dollar sign reordering in printf; Locale::Maketext for localized messages; and I18N::Langinfo to query locale data.

    Another feature is restricted hashes which will replace pseudohashes as the underlying mechanism of fields from perl 5.9: see Hash::Util.

    Then there's safe signals, of which you've probably heard of.

    Source filtering, see Filter::Util::Call.

    Other smaller new features are brackets in prototypes (see perlsub), the new ${^TAINT} variable, newly overridable and tieable builtins, the CLONE function, improved attributes and lvalue functions, loads of new core modules (such as List::Util or Tie::File etc), better bignums, better perlio layers.

    You may want to read the short Highlights In 5.8.0 section of perl58delta.

    Update 2006 oct 6: corrected spelling -- thanks to ysth.

Re: Major changes since 5.6.1
by Errto (Vicar) on Jan 06, 2006 at 20:33 UTC
    For me the biggest thing in Perl 5.8, even more so than Encode and in-memory file handles is PerlIO. Also threads.
      Perl's threads did not change between 5.6.1 and 5.8: they were unstable and memory-hungry, now they are same. May be few bugs fixed, but they not ready for use.
      Every time I tried to use those, I forced to undo threading after random crashes.

      Best regards,
      Courage, the Cowardly Dog

        Different folks have different experiences, I guess. I have found the user level interface to ithreads added in 5.8.0 (that's 'thread' module etc) useful and stable in a number of situations.

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