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Announce: Rakudo Perl 6 development release #20 (&

posted by brian_d_foy on 2009.08.23 23:06   Printer-friendly
kyle writes "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 [1].
The tarball for the August 2009 release is available from .

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 .

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. has been home to several Rakudo
contributors (chromatic, Allison Randal, and more) and 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 [2].

* 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 , ask on the
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!

[1] Parrot,
[2] Rakudo Star,
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  • 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.

    So this means that (a) it can be installed as a package and (b) real live scripts in random directories can use it? Yay! This has been holding me back from playing with it.

  • Can it be installed under Windows at this point? If not, how about under Cygwin?

    • Certainly I've tested it on WinXP + MS VC++ and it seems to work fine. The release didn't quite work on MinGW if you wanted to compile with ICU, but we've had a patch submitted/applied to fix that since. Cygwin, I'm afraid I'm not sure about.



      • I apologize. I should have been more specific, though I just visited the "How to get Rakudo Perl 6" and got an answer to my question.

        I (like most Windows users) don't have a C compiler and have never been a C/C++/C# developer. I was a Perl/DB/Network developer for a long time and, since moving out of development, have continued using Perl to create tools and systems to help me in my work, which requires Windows. Oh well.

        • Ah, I see. fperrad++ does produce binary builds of each Parrot release and the Rakudo development release that matches up with it. You can find the Parrot build and the Rakudo add-on (two downloads, Parrot-1.5.0 and Parrot-1.5.0-Rakudo-20) at:

          Hope this helps,