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chromatic (983)

chromatic
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http://wgz.org/chromatic/

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Journal of chromatic (983)

Thursday February 18, 2010
10:31 PM

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 10 February 2010

The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 10 February 2010. Larry, Patrick, Will, Jerry, and chromatic attended.

Will:

  • working on simplifying Parrot's build process
  • trying to remove an invocation of Perl 5 for every compilation
  • it's old and a waste of many things
  • hope to have that removed by the end of the week

Jerry:

  • the new #ps time should help me to attend
  • looking forward to a Parrot/Rakudo workshop, possibly at YAPC::NA
  • already working on artwork
  • would like to get the command-line done for Rakudo *
  • lacking tuits
  • need some time with Patrick over the next few days
  • weekends should free up after next week

Larry:

  • refined the specified semantics of bitwise operators
  • changed ugly **() special form to prefix:<||> by analogy to prefix:<|>, and relationship of ** to *.
  • STD now accepts prefix || for slice interpolation
  • deleted old p5=> that masak++ noticed
  • added explicit copyright notices to STD files
  • spruced up error message on -> in postfix position (either pointy block or Perl 5 method dereference)
  • mostly just served as Chief Resident Oracle on IRC

Patrick:

  • had a nice vacation in Florida
  • didn't have as much hacking time, due to plane delays
  • should get back to coding later today
  • working on the Rakudo hackathon in Copenhagen on March 6 and 7
  • core hackers session on 8th and 9th there
  • looking forward to that

c:

  • fixed a couple of bugs
  • did a bit of optimization
  • wrote out a GC optimization plan
  • wrote plan for a sweep free GC
  • think we can get those both going in the next week

Jerry:

  • noticing a lot of new branches and removals and new things in Parrot recently
  • are these following the roadmap?
  • are people going off on their own?

Will:

  • the deprecation stuff is all documented and seems reasonable
  • Andrew's discussion today is new stuff, but a reasonable discussion to have
  • I'm working on cleanup stuff
  • having a roadmap and trying to force people to stick to it is always... impossible
  • people will work on what they find shiny or what blocks them
  • if it's not on the roadmap, it's okay if it's not hurting the project

Jerry:

  • we've changed our deprecation cycle
  • was that change enough to unstick people to do something?
  • was it beneficial to our users and our core developers?

Will:

  • definitely a positive

Jerry:

  • still not a lot of mailing list discussion
  • how is Parrot meeting Rakudo's goals for the Rakudo * release?

Patrick:

  • as it stands today, it's adequate for what we need
  • if it weren't, you'd be hearing about it
  • the next thing for us is performance
  • any performance improvements are welcome
  • the biggest thing there is GC, and that's an area of focus
  • no big pushes I need to make lately
  • have noticed Andrew's desire to remove some Parrot features
  • they're useful from an HLL perspective
  • I do worry about changes to core Parrot divorced from HLL concerns
  • I don't know who's going to be the traffic cop for those changes
  • I don't have time to do it

Will:

  • based on the discussion in channel today
  • making Parrot leaner, faster, smaller may not necessarily jive with keeping the features as they exist now
  • he's not trying to remove features
  • he's trying to get the same effect with a faster Parrot

Patrick:

  • I agree with those motives

Will:

  • even if we do rewrite things, they have to work more or less as they do right now

Patrick:

  • reviewing the roadmap from December....
  • GC work is happening
  • no one seems to work on subroutine leave semantics
  • Stephen Weeks is the best one to look at that
  • performance is our biggest need right now
  • but the -ng branch performs better for various reasons
  • has anyone built -ng against the latest Parrot?

Will:

  • I think Vasily has checked his branches against Rakudo
  • not sure if that was against -ng

Patrick:

  • master and -ng are pretty close together in terms of the Parrot core
  • we'll make -ng the master branch very soon
  • unless I get bogged down on iterators again
Wednesday February 17, 2010
11:58 PM

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 03 February 2010

The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 03 February 2010. Larry, Patrick, and chromatic attended.

Larry:

  • more cleanup of iteration semantics
  • no longer signal end with Nil, but with special EMPTY failure
  • this can support either unthrown or thrown exception styles
  • added in batching iterator interface
  • proposed new E operator for efficient list end detection; gathering feedback
  • detangling of sigils from contexts; for example, @ no longer implies flattening
  • coercions all defined to take parcels so they don't flatten accidentally
  • more cleanup of various types (captures,lists) that should be considered parcels
  • forcibly amputated the @@ sigil; have fixed up most of the bloody stumps
  • instead of *@@ parameters, we now have a ** slice marker on parameters
  • removed references to [;] reduction since it wouldn't work (because of return parcel embedding)
  • new **() interpolator instead
  • clarified that function calls in a list are called eagerly, but their results are potentially lazy
  • (also mentioned ways to make the call lazy too)
  • renamed iterator methods for more clarity, removing contradictory usages of "item"
  • iterators now iterated with get, getobj, batch, and batchobj
  • specced that a missing maximum allows the iterator to decide batch size.
  • get and getobj must be atomic under multi-threading so message queues work (but maybe that's backwards, and push should be atomic)
  • slice now defined to turn subparcels into Seq objects
  • spec that most of the work of flat and slice are done by binding to *@ or **@
  • new flat operator detangles flattening semantics from normal unmarked list semantics
  • for all specced functions, *@@ parameters changed to **@
  • multiple dimensions now defined in terms of nested parcels, not feeds, to avoid implying multithreading on every subscript
  • either range or series iterator now autotruncates in a subscript
  • no autotruncation on left end of a subscript anymore
  • did some cleanup of feeds; more is needed to have clearer target semantics
  • feeds no longer take a whatever target with implicit semantics; just use an explicit target
  • not much hacking, but edited tests to change @@ to something else appropriate
  • tracked name changes in CORE
  • wrote a long screed on why Perl 6 has one-pass parsing and why typenames must be pre-declared

Patrick:

  • working on interators and lists in the -ng branch
  • brought up a few issues with Larry as appropriate
  • took issue with others, as appropriate
  • happy with our progress there
  • expect to make this branch the new master in the next day or so
  • will be some regressions, but it's time to do it
  • there's no development taking place on other branches, so let's commit and do it
  • people will be comfortable about doing their own work and not having it lost on some other branch

c:

  • looking into GC tuning and ideas
  • still working on getting methods out of namespaces
  • need four uninterrupted hours
Friday January 29, 2010
04:00 PM

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 27 January 2010

The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 27 January 2010. Larry, Allison, Patrick, and chromatic attended.

Larry:

  • tweaked definition of when a series operator is considered infinite
  • nailed down more list assignment semantics with respect to interators
  • clarified how ($a, $b, @a) = 1..* works
  • KeyWeight deletion criterion kept consistent with other KeyHash types
  • negative keyweights are allowed to fail at pick time
  • "mostly eager" now assumes unknown closure generators are probably infinite
  • random whackage on List, Seq, Parcel, Capture, Iterator, Nil etc.
  • List is now simply the iterator role, and doesn't do Positional
  • Seq takes over Positional duties for reified (or reifiable) value lists
  • think of Seq now as a constant Array (but also lazy like Array)
  • Iterable now means you can ask for an iterator, but doesn't do List
  • Array, Seq, etc do Iterable, but not List
  • only actual iterators do List
  • Nil is defined as a suitable sentinel for both list and slice iterators
  • continued to rethink that with pmichaud++ et al
  • we'll probably end up with an EMPTY special exception object to be the iterator sentinal
  • proposed an E operator to go with it to make testing for EMPTY across multiple iterators very fast
  • other than that, mostly just bug whacking, no major refactors
  • still thinking about doing real LTM for STD
  • did lazify Cursor's fnum->fate translations for shorter LTM candidates in preparation for smarter LTM
  • we don't need special objects for the items that get matches
  • we do need to think more about the hyper cases
  • how to do list processing using balanced trees of delegated sub refs
  • don't want to build in serial assumptions where we don't need them

Patrick:

  • made the Rakudo #25 release last week
  • it was much easier to make the release than explain what we were planning to do instead
  • also working on iterators and lists
  • NG branch is blocking on that
  • worked on the design in my head for three weeks
  • realized that we were doing iterators completely wrong the other night
  • Larry's making some useful changes to the spec in response
  • there are still some unclear spots in the spec
  • we need an implementation to figure those out
  • my biggest question is the relationship between List, Parcel, Itertor, and array
  • as of this morning, I think I have it
  • that code seems to be working and efficient
  • so far it's working well
  • continuing with that
  • wrote a very short range iterator prototype that colomon has used
  • also write a map iterator that works
  • coming up with examples for the zip operator was nice
  • good ideas for what we need to be able to do
  • objects that can iterate have a .iterator() method
  • to interpolate that into a list, .list() returns a flat Parcel for that iterator
  • Parcels know how to generate Iterators
  • those know how to handle Iterators of Iterators
  • I suspect that's how we do hyper iteration
  • change Parcels to understand that
  • adding pieces back into the ng branch
  • next I have to fix slurpy parameters
  • many of our builtins need that
  • need to figure out Jonathan's code to do that
  • after that, I'll do arrays
  • that should remove the blockers on the ng branch

Allison:

  • working on Pynie
  • Francois has helped greatly to update it for Plumage

c:

  • still working on the TT #389 fix
  • think I have the right design, just need time to implement it
  • working on a potential new time for #parrotsketch

Allison:

  • thinking about hackathons
  • would be nice to have a Rakudo hackathon at YAPC::NA

c:

  • Parrot will come up; didn't it come up about half the time last year?

Patrick:

  • it was all Parrot

Allison:

  • you'll have an influx of Rakudo interest two months after Rakudo Star

Patrick:

  • probably will have one before then
  • but can tell people "Go to YAPC; we'll show you how to help in person there"
Wednesday January 27, 2010
07:10 PM

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 20 January 2010

The Perl 6 design team meet by phone on 20 January 2010. Allison, Patrick, Will, and chromatic attended.

Allison:

  • did distro testing on Ubuntu and the Mac
  • set up a Hardy chroot; Parrot works just fine there
  • have a feeling we missed some deprecations, but we have a lot in there
  • enough to work on for three months

c:

  • I added the STRING idea, to give us the possibility of the value semantics change

Allison:

  • less stressful to have three months at a time
  • otherwise working on class assignments

Patrick:

  • family illness knocked me out for a few days
  • we'll postspone the January release for up to a week
  • going to make the Rakudo-ng branch the master branch
  • that won't take more than a week
  • we'll release by Thursday of next week
  • also need to make the -ng branch build with Parrot 2.0.0
  • need to merge some outstanding patches to make that work

c:

  • are you going to stick with 2.0.0?

Patrick:

  • unless we need a change in Parrot that we can't live without, yes

Will:

  • we could do a point release if you need one

Patrick:

  • that's up to Parrot
  • from Rakudo's perspective, that's not terribly important
  • we're shifting everything around for the -ng branch
  • we'll definitely stick the February release to Parrot 2.1
  • I'll post messages to the list about the new release plan shortly

Will:

  • working on the one_make branch in Parrot
  • trying to mark dependencies properly in a single Makefile
  • get some of that out of the configure system
  • we should be able to merge to trunk in a day or two
  • there's still more work to do, but we're at a merge point soon

c:

  • released Parrot 2.0.0 yesterday
  • sending out release announcements soon, but the code is out
  • Stephen Weeks helped me fix up PGE not to fetch methods from namespaces
  • should be able to merge the TT #389 fix branch to trunk very soon
  • will take a look at other Rakudo blockers after that
Tuesday January 26, 2010
05:54 PM

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 13 January 2010

The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 13 January 2010. Larry, Patrick, and chromatic attended.

Larry:

  • made constant declarations more consistent with type declaration syntax
  • removed various spec fossils regarding the old :by modifier
  • reworked KeyHash docs to make the semantics clearer
  • refactored regex AST methods out of Cursor
  • symbol table files are now compiled into their own subdirectory
  • STD can now use modules defined in the test suite
  • testing STD against the test suite now produces many fewer warnings about missing modules
  • STD now specifically disallows forms like :!foo(0) and :5bar[42] that supply unexpected args
  • STD now tracks 'of' types in declarations and prevents spurious 'of' types
  • STD treats anon enums, subsets, and constants etc more consistently
  • removed old type slot from constant declarator, now uses more standard type slots
  • random bug fixing
  • errors with expectation lists are less noisy, no longer reporting lookaheads and whitespace

Patrick:

  • lots of thinking
  • looking at Rakudo-ng today
  • plan to do lists tomorrow
  • want to get those out of the way
  • Jonathan and I think we can merge it for the January release
  • should know more after the weekend

c:

  • working on TT #389
  • :method should not add entries to NameSpace
  • PGE/TGE have problems
  • will not land for 2.0
  • may add (and immediately deprecate) an experimental op to help migration
Friday January 22, 2010
07:12 PM

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 06 January 2010

The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 06 January 2010. Larry, Allison, Patrick, Will, and chromatic attended.

Larry:

  • in Spec Land, renamed p{} to qp{} to avoid using up another common single letter
  • bare say/print is now just a warning
  • Carl Mäsak dug up fossilized restriction on hash literals, which I removed
  • since the insides of blocks are now parsed as statements, there is no longer an inconsistency in line-ending curlies
  • refined the picking vs grabbing semantics with respect to immutable vs mutable bags and such
  • to avoid legacy confusion, renamed break/continue to succeed/proceed
  • clarified that an implicit succeed returns the value of the whole when block
  • it is not somehow magically inserted around the last statement
  • renamed true to so to avoid confusion of the predicate with the True enum value
  • at the suggestion of moritz++, split Any up into Any and Cool types
  • Cool stands for Convenient OO Loopbacks, or any other acronym you'd like
  • the built-in types derived from Cool are the ones that do Perlish dwimmy coercions
  • user types still derive from Any by default, so aren't born with gazillions of methods
  • conjecturally, also keep "last-resort" multis in Cool package
  • responded non-explosively to a potentially explosive rant/twitter
  • clarified various things in response
  • it is not necessary that all implementations be equally good at everything
  • there will be a minimal Perl 5ish grammar alongside STD that any VM can support as a well-behaved subset
  • it is also acceptable to support bug-for-bug compatibility with Perl 5
  • the language designer is neither omniscient nor omnipotent
  • the design process is therefore convergent on the part of all parties involved
  • the rate of convergence is an emergent property, and is to be forced
  • convergence is deemed to be positive as long as anyone is still working on Perl 6
  • the solidification of the spec is also part of the convergence, and depends on proven implementation
  • unproven parts of the spec are to be considered implicitly conjectural
  • as implementations converge on specs, we can throw out or delay parts of the spec that as yet unproven
  • everyone is allowed to panic once.
  • on to implementation, found fencepost precedence error inside list prefix
  • moved the default initparse method from STD into Curso so other grammars don't have to define it
  • added quote modifier :p (aka :path) so we can form the qp{} path literal
  • installed better warnings about bare say/print
  • generalized the say/print warning to anything a p5er might try that might be in p6 without the defaulting
  • STD and CORE now support recent renamings to so, succeed, and proceed
  • no longer reports "Bogus statement" when "Missing term" is more accurate
  • now catches /\b/ and advises to use an appropriate p6 word boundary assertion instead
  • emits better message when an intended reduce is interpreted as composer
  • detects most attempts to use postfix after whitespace, and suggests omitting whitespace
  • now parses tick-less embedded comment syntax as line-end comment (but still warns for now)

Patrick:

  • took the last couple of weeks off
  • keeping up with things, but not much writing code
  • read the S01 changes with great interest
  • glad to see them
  • answered some PGE questions for Carl

Larry:

  • we've talked about them all along
  • they weren't written down in an obvious place

Will:

  • working on Parrot
  • trying to move as much out of the configure process into a Makefile as possible
  • intended to improve the build
  • attempting to remove recursive makes
  • avoid unnecessary rebuilds
  • improve dependency tracking in the build
  • probably ready after 2.0

Patrick:

  • I'm impressed
  • thanks for taking that on; we needed it

Allison:

  • working on deprecation notices
  • we've talked about a lot of things over the past six months
  • not sure they're all in the file appropriately

c:

  • working on bugfixes
  • also working on deprecations

Patrick:

  • I intend to merge the ng branch before the January release
  • some people are antsy, but I have a lot of confidence
  • we'll probably pass about 70% of the test suite
  • it looks like a regression, but we have different features added now
  • lazy lists work, for example
  • lots of things fudged in the previous version work now
Thursday January 21, 2010
08:52 PM

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 16 December 2009

The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 16 December 2009. Allison, Patrick, Jerry, and chromatic attended.

Patrick:

  • finished my Hague Grant
  • sent the final report to Jesse to wild approval
  • drafted a new version of PDD 31 on HLL interop
  • write some code to implement part of that in NQP's HLLCompiler
  • added various tests
  • need to get languages using that now
  • Rakudo will use that
  • it's the basis for Rakudo's use and import
  • if it works for Rakudo, it should follow for other languages which use HLLCmpiler
  • had a few comments about missing pieces and corrections
  • it's still a draft spec, but we need iteration to finish the spec
  • working on little bits of code here and there
  • adding features for projects which use NQP
  • trying to return to using Rakudo and updating the -ng branch

Allison:

  • working on the Pynie refresh this week
  • started over with the Python 3 grammar
  • have that translated into NQP-rx
  • it compiles and can parse a few things
  • working my way through the grammar
  • no actions set up yet

Patrick:

  • there is a .DEBUG rule
  • call it on a subrule to turn on tracing from that rule down
  • that saves you from having to put in panic statements

Allison:

  • is there a good NQP-rx tutorial for actions?

Patrick:

  • working on it
  • is your work in the Pynie repo?

Allison:

  • it's in Mercurial on bitbucket.org under project pynie
  • that's what Python 3 uses
  • also the Parrot roadmap session went very well

Jerry:

  • we still have some actions to take based on that work
  • need to convert our priority list into Trac tickets and wiki items
  • Parrot's goal for every month until Rakudo * is to support Rakudo * and HLLs in general

Allison:

  • that's valuable
  • it changes our priorities in the next year
  • it moves things between "would be nice" and "necessary"

c:

  • worked on the roadmap session
  • helping with the Context/CallSignature merge
  • will do a dry run of the Rakudo release today
Wednesday January 20, 2010
11:41 PM

Perl 6 Design Minutes for 09 December 2009

The Perl 6 design team met by phone on 09 December 2009. Larry, Allison, Patrick, Will, and chromatic attended.

Will:

  • some work on NQP port of Partcl
  • Patrick has been very helpful
  • sent a message to the Parrot list about the planning meeting this Sunday
  • initiated a community document to discuss those plans

Allison:

  • implemented large chunks of obscure C code to perform fast string matching using the FFT
  • wondering if that'd be useful in Parrot
  • maybe we do our indexing operations by character set in the NFG form
  • also does very basic pattern matching by leaving out optional characters
  • could be useable in the core tests, where it's tricky to depend on PGE
  • this was my final assignment before the Christmas break
  • have a month off to work on Parrot stuff then
  • I'll show off my assignment when I submit it

Patrick:

  • finished my final report for my Hague grant
  • haven't quite finished the grant, but left TODO items
  • rather than trying to finish everything and then write the report, I'd draft the report and keep notes on what I needed to finish
  • need to work on HLL interop
  • enable Perl 6 and other Parrot languages to load libraries from other HLLs
  • will work on that over the next few days
  • had several coversations about optimizations, constants, and inferior runloops
  • made minor PAST improvements
  • integer constants can automatically promote to num constants without going through a PMC
  • updated NQP to make it easier to write custom operator subs, if you're using the operator precedence parser
  • implemented the beginnings of smart matching
  • not full Perl 6 smart match
  • makes sense in the Parrot context
  • can match against regexes, tokens, rules, and any types with protoobjects
  • code looks more like Perl 6
  • not much on Rakudo besides answering questions
  • will get back to the Rakudo-ng merge after finishing my grant work
  • also worked on Partcl
  • updated its regex syntax, particularly for enumerated character classes
  • fixed it to handle unquoted, non-word characters in regexes
  • previously it only handled barewords as literal matches
  • it's closer to the Perl 5 syntax now

Larry:

  • didn't like the name PairValSet, renamed it EnumMap
  • likewise PairSet is now PairMap, and PairVal is just Enum
  • so individual constant pairs now called "enums"
  • we distinguish pairs, which have read-write values, from enums, which are constant in the value
  • you can now do .enums on hashes and arrays as well as enumerations
  • differs from .pairs, which give reference semantics into the values of the original data structure
  • .enums gives you a constant snapshot
  • David Green suggested renaming Enum.name to Enum.key, and he was right, since they're constant pairs
  • trying to be consistent about calling the whole type an "enumeration" and referring to the bits as "enums", even though the keyword is enum
  • thought people would rebel at typing the long name
  • clarified that the anonymous enum is compile-time evaluated as an anonymous list of constants
  • you can always cast to an EnumMap at run time for the other behavior
  • simplifying conditional semantics
  • STD parser now parses a WHENCE closure as part of the typename, rather than relying on subscript parse
  • block escape within a closure within a string used to parse as a normal block by responding to comments outside of the block
  • already fixed the embedded block in the regex syntax
  • made that usable by strings and regexes now
  • blocks in regular code try to figure out if they're at the end of a statement
  • look for the trailing curly
  • inside a string or regex, there are no statements
  • it makes no sense to look for the end of the statement there
  • the obsolescence messages were still in the old framework that upsets some Perl 5 people
  • changed the wording to "Unsupported use of ..."
  • #perl6 found a precedence inconsistency in parsing of list prefixes vs list infixes in NG
  • turned out to be wrong in STD first, and NG copied it
  • I fixed it in STD, Patrick fixed it in NG
  • otherwise last week was rather too ADD-ish, so mostly did Q&A on IRC

c:

  • fixed some bugs
  • made some optimizations
  • think I've fixed most constant PMCs in PBC now, which should help NQP and Rakudo

Patrick:

  • it'll take a while before Jonathan and I can take advantage of that
  • Allison, when you push_eh an ExceptionHandler onto an array in a context, it creates an RPA
  • does that hold other things besides an EH?

Allison:

  • potentially
  • events get stored in the scheduler
  • only EHs are scoped to a context
  • the old pushmark/popmark stuff to do actions used that same global array
  • it may have changed to use the same array
  • that's deprecated though
  • they won't use that array for long

Patrick:

  • I need something to replace pushaction and popaction before they go away
  • when we handle LEAVE semantics, we want to avoid generating an exception to leave that scope for caching
  • I don't want to generate and rethrow actions to go up the stack
  • those ops let me do that without generating exceptions

Allison:

  • we do need singleton exception objects for FAIL and RETURN
  • no extra information needed
  • right now, you can insert anything you want in that array
  • the local_branch and local_return uses that array

Patrick:

  • it shouldn't
  • bsr and ret may have
  • I provide my own there

Allison:

  • oh right
  • I might not have checked in that code

Patrick:

  • by the way, NQP doesn't use local_branch or local_return
11:37 PM

Announce: Parrot 2.0.0 "Inevitable" Released!

The Beyond and below are like a deep of ocean, and we the creatures that swim in the abyss. We're so far down that the beings on the surface superior though they are can't effectively reach us. Oh, they fish, and they sometimes blight the upper levels with points we don't even understand. But the abyss remains a relatively safe place.

Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep

On behalf of the Parrot team, I'm proud to announce Parrot 2.0.0 "Inevitable." Parrot is a virtual machine aimed at running all dynamic languages.

Parrot 2.0.0 is available on Parrot's FTP site, or follow the download instructions. For those who would like to develop on Parrot, or help develop Parrot itself, we recommend using Subversion on our source code repository to get the latest and best Parrot code.

Parrot 2.0.0 News:

  • Features

    • Context PMCs now support attribute-based introspection
    • Context and CallSignature PMCs merged into CallContext
    • .lex directive throws exceptions when used with incorrect register types
  • Platforms

    • Packaging improved for free OS distributions
    • PPC, PPC64, and ARM now tested when running Linux
  • Performance

    • Minor improvements to the profiling runcore
    • Improvements from the CallContext PMC merge
  • New deprecations

    • In/out parameters in STRING modification functions
    • Void handling in NCI signatures
    • Parameter passing opcodes order in PBC
  • Tests

    • Continued migration of core tests from Perl 5 to PIR
  • Tools

    • dependency checker improved
  • Miscellaneous

    • Deprecation cycle length changed to three months from six
    • GC accuracy improved
    • PMC freeze improvements; much more reliable
    • Makefile improvements for dependency handling

Thanks to all our contributors for making this possible, and our sponsors for supporting this project. Our next release is 16 February 2010.

Enjoy!

Friday December 18, 2009
03:14 AM

Announce: Rakudo Perl 6 development release #24 ("Seoul")

On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I'm pleased to announce the December 2009 development release of Rakudo Perl #24 "Seoul". Rakudo is an implementation of Perl 6 on the Parrot Virtual Machine. The tarball for the December 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 recommend building Rakudo from the latest source, available 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. The December 2009 release is code named "Seoul" for Seoul.pm, who hosted Jonathan so well recently, and because they have a cake duck.

Shortly after the October 2009 (#22) release, the Rakudo team began a new branch of Rakudo development ("ng") that refactors the grammar to much more closely align with STD.pm as well as update some core features that have been difficult to achieve in the master branch. Most of our effort for the past month has been in this new branch, but as of the release date the new version had not sufficiently progressed to be the release copy. We expect to have the new version in place in the January 2010 release, but may elect to have an interim release from the new branch before then.

This release of Rakudo requires Parrot 1.9.0. One must still perform make install in the Rakudo directory before the perl6 executable will run anywhere other than the Rakudo build directory. For the latest information on building and using Rakudo Perl, see the readme file section titled "Building and invoking Rakudo".

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

  • Rakudo is now passing 32,192 spectests, a "decrease" of 561 passing tests since the November 2009 release. We pass fewer tests now because specification changes caused many obsolete (but passing) tests to be removed from the suite -- from 38,318 in November to 37,376 now. The percentage of passing tests has increased, from 85.5% in November to 86.1% today.
  • More improvements to the Rat type and related math functions to remain aligned with the specification.

The Perl 6 language specification is still in flux. Please take note of the following changes, which might affect your existing programs. In the next release of Rakudo, the deprecated features will likely be gone.

  • The root of the object hierarchy has been changed from Object to Mu. The type Object goes away.
  • The term undef is gone. You can replace it with other constructs, depending on context:

    • Nil is undefined in item context, and the empty list in list context
    • Mu is the most general undefined value which does not flatten in list context
    • as a smart matching target, you can replace $obj ~~ undef by $obj ~~ *.notdef

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 (#25) is scheduled for January 21, 2010. A list of the other planned release dates and codenames for 2010 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!