After over a year since the last release, it is with equal parts of pride and relief that I present Strawberry Perl 5.10, the next major release of the Vanilla Perl Project's flagship Perl distribution.
This release represents the beginning of the third generation of release code.
The first generation was a simple build script, and was used to create the original Vanilla Perl distribution.
The second generation moved from a simple script to a config-driven model with Perl::Dist::Builder, and gave us the original Strawberry Perl.
The new Perl::Dist::Inno takes this beyond simple configuration and provides a complete object heirachy for modelling and compiling Win32 Perl distributions.
So now not only can you replicate Strawberry Perl yourself, you can literally sub-class Strawberry Perl and build your own custom distributions in as little as 10 lines of code.
This release also sees more attention paid to Strawberry Perl's CPAN capabilities, and in particular to its out-of-the-box functionality.
The new CPAN client setup is completely zero-configuration, with CPAN::SQLite pre-installed for reduced memory consumption and a http://cpan.strawberryperl.com/ redirector, so that we can keep zero-conf users pointing at a good default repository and collect statistics on the CPAN modules that Win32 users care about the most.
We've also added some little touches like a pointing the "Strawberry Perl Website" link that goes to a release-specific page, so we can update with errata and so on.
On the module side things remain much the same. We retain the previous model of bundling a large number of toolchain and CPAN-related modules, but don't bundle modules that add general functionality.
For people that would like more modules pre-installed, stay tuned for information on the long-awaited "Chocolate Perl" distribution.
While the new releases is stable and very usable, it lacks in a few areas we will be addressing in the next release cycle.
The new "relocatable" magic for Perl 5.10 is implemented as an optional Configure parameter. Win32 Perl releases do NOT, unfortunately, use Configure.
As such, relocation will not be available in this release cycle of Strawberry Perl. I hope to investigate workarounds for this problem at a later date.
2. Windows Vista
The MinGW compiler system has known problems on Vista with the current directory setup, and as such Strawberry Perl does not support Vista at this time.
I have some ideas on how to fix this, but don't want to potentially burdon non-Vista users with the complications it might create.
So we may well see a specific Vista version released separately.
HOWEVER, minus those few issues, I'm very happy with the quality of the new release, and look forward to increased sleep and some time off.