Rakudo Star Release 2015.09


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 September 2015 release of "Rakudo Star", a useful and usable distribution of Perl 6. The tarball for the September 2015 release is available from http://rakudo.org/downloads/star/.

This Rakudo Star release comes with support for the MoarVM backend (all module tests pass on supported platforms).

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 2015.09 of the Rakudo Perl 6 compiler, version 2015.09 of MoarVM, plus various modules, documentation, and other resources collected from the Perl 6 community.

Some of the new compiler features added to this release include:

  • Great List Refactor (GLR) - See http://design.perl6.org/S07.html
  • All Deprecations removed in preparation for Christmas release
  • Added support for calling into C++ libraries and calling methods on C++ classes
  • New slurpy parameter, +args or +@args, to allow for one-argument style binding
  • New with/orwith/without conditionals allow you to check for .defined but topicalize to the actual value returned
  • New supply, whenever and react blocks for easy reactive programming
  • All Unicode digits can now be part of literal numbers
  • val() and allomorphic types implemented
  • Most European quoting styles are now supported
  • New $[...] and ${...} constructs allow prefix itemization
  • The .gist and .perl methods can now deal with self-referential structures

Please note that this release of Rakudo Star is not fully functional with the JVM backend from the Rakudo compiler. Support should be restored shortly.

Notable changes in modules shipped with Rakudo Star:

  • All modules fixed to work with GLR where needed
  • Panda now includes JSON::Fast and no longer precompiles to byte code
  • Terminal::ANSIColor replaces the deprecated Term::ANSIColor
  • New Perl 6 tutorial replaces original perl6 book draft

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)
  • 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'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. A Perl 6 tutorial is available as docs/2015-spw-perl6-course.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 [email protected] mailing list, or join us on IRC #perl6 on freenode.