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Announce: Rakudo Perl 6 development release #20 ("PDX")

by kyle (Abbot)
on Aug 20, 2009 at 04:14 UTC ( #789997=perlnews: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I'm pleased to announce the August 2009 development release of Rakudo Perl #20 "PDX". Rakudo is an implementation of Perl 6 on the Parrot Virtual Machine. The tarball for the August 2009 release is available from http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/downloads.

Due to the continued rapid pace of Rakudo development and the frequent addition of new Perl 6 features and bugfixes, we continue to recommend that people wanting to use or work with Rakudo obtain the latest source directly from the main repository at github. More details are available at http://rakudo.org/how-to-get-rakudo.

Rakudo Perl follows a monthly release cycle, with each release code named after a Perl Mongers group. August 2009 is code named "PDX" for the Portland Perl Mongers. PDX.pm has been home to several Rakudo contributors (chromatic, Allison Randal, and more) and PDX.pm has held meetings that have produced feature and bugfix patches for Rakudo.

Beginning with this release, Rakudo Perl builds from an "installed Parrot" instead of using Parrot's build tree. This release of Rakudo requires Parrot 1.5.0. For the latest information on building and using Rakudo Perl, see the README file section titled "Building and invoking Rakudo". (Quick note: the "--gen-parrot" option still automatically downloads and builds Parrot as before, if you prefer that approach.)

Also, unlike previous versions of Rakudo Perl, the "perl6" (or "perl6.exe") executables only work when invoked from the Rakudo root directory until a "make install" is performed. Running "make install" will install Rakudo and its libraries into the Parrot installation that was used to build it, and then the executables will work when invoked from any directory.

Some of the specific major changes and improvements occuring with this release include:

  • Rakudo is now passing 12,369 spectests, an increase of 493 passing tests since the July 2009 release. With this release Rakudo is now passing 69.98% of the available spectest suite.
  • We now have a much cleaner traits implementation. Many of the Perl 6 built-in traits are now implemented in Perl 6, and user-defined traits can now be defined and applied to classes and roles.
  • The 'hides' trait on classes can make one class hide another.
  • Many not-yet-implemented operators and features now provide more helpful error messages instead of simply producing parse errors.
  • The ROADMAP has been substantially updated and includes some details regarding the "Rakudo Star" release.
  • Embedded comments now require backticks (Perl 6 specification change).

Since the Perl 6 specification is still in flux, some deprecated features will be removed from Rakudo. Prominently among those are:

  • '=$handle' is deprecated in favor of '$handle.get' (one line) and '$handle.lines' (all lines).
  • 'int $obj' is deprecated in favor of '$obj.Int'.

The development team thanks all of our contributors and sponsors for making Rakudo Perl possible. If you would like to contribute, see http://rakudo.org/how-to-help, ask on the perl6-compiler@perl.org mailing list, or ask on IRC #perl6 on freenode.

The next release of Rakudo (#21) is scheduled for September 17, 2009. A list of the other planned release dates and codenames for 2009 is available in the "docs/release_guide.pod" file. In general, Rakudo development releases are scheduled to occur two days after each Parrot monthly release. Parrot releases the third Tuesday of each month.

Have fun!

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