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release_guide.pod - guide to Rakudo releases

Rakudo's development release cycle is based on Parrot's release cycle. Parrot releases the third Tuesday of each month; Rakudo will generally issue its own development release two days after the Parrot release.

Each development release is given a sequential number and a code name based on an active Perl Mongers group. Rakudo's February 2009 release is #14; prior releases were bundled as part of monthly Parrot releases.

Development releases

  2009-02-26   Rakudo #14 "Vienna"             (pmichaud)
  2009-03-20   Rakudo #15 "Oslo"               (pmichaud)
  2009-04-23   Rakudo #16 "Bratislava"         (pmichaud)
  2009-05-21   Rakudo #17 "Stockholm"          (pmichaud)
  2009-06-18   Rakudo #18 "Pittsburgh"         (pmichaud)
  2009-07-23   Rakudo #19 "Chicago"            (moritz)
  2009-08-20   Rakudo #20 "PDX"                (kyle)
  2009-09-17   Rakudo #21 "Seattle"            (particle)
  2009-10-22   Rakudo #22 "Thousand Oaks"      (duff)
  2009-11-19   Rakudo #23 "Lisbon"             (masak)
  2009-12-17   Rakudo #24 "Seoul"              (chromatic)
  2010-01-22   Rakudo #25 "Minneapolis"        (pmichaud)
  2010-02-18   Rakudo #26 "Amsterdam"          (mberends)
  2010-03-18   Rakudo #27 "Copenhagen"         (smash)
  2010-04-22   Rakudo #28 "Moscow"             (moritz)
  2010-05-20   Rakudo #29 "Erlangen"           (colomon)
  2010-06-17   Rakudo #30 "Kiev"               (masak)
  2010-07-22   Rakudo #31 "Atlanta"            (Coke)
  2010-08-19   Rakudo #32 "Pisa"               (mathw)
  2010-09-23   Rakudo #33 "Milan"              (moritz)
  2010-10-21   Rakudo #34 "Paris"              (duff)
  2010-11-18   Rakudo #35 "Melbourne"          (masak)
  2010-12-23   Rakudo #36 "New York"           (smash)

Planned 2010 releases

Dates are based on Parrot's expected release schedule.

  2011-01-20   Rakudo #37                      -vacant-
  2011-02-17   Rakudo #38                      -vacant-
  2011-03-17   Rakudo #39                      -vacant-

Suggested .pm group names for future releases

More names can be gotten from if you can't think of one with any particular significance to Perl 6 or Rakudo.

Steps to create a release (for release managers)

Each Rakudo development release is timed to occur two days after a Parrot monthly release.

  1. A few days before the Parrot release, it's a good idea to...
    • Remind people of the upcoming release, invite people to update the ChangeLog file, update the ROADMAP, choose a release name, etc.
    • Verify that the Parrot trunk head is able to build Rakudo and run the spectest suite. Also check the smolder reports at
    • If Parrot's trunk exhibits any problems building or running Rakudo (that require changes to Parrot to fix), immediately report them to the Parrot development team so they can be fixed prior to Parrot's release.
    • Review the RT queue for tickets that might need resolving prior to the release, addressing them as needed. "Tickets that need resolving" is left your discretion. Any problem that has a large impact on users is worth addressing either as a fix or as prominent documentation (the README and/or the release announcement).
  2. Once Parrot issues its monthly release, edit Rakudo's build/PARROT_REVISION file to contain the git describe --tags output and release number corresponding to Parrot's monthly release. For example, for November 2010 PARROT_REVISION file contained "RELEASE_2_10_1 2.10.0". As always, test to make sure Rakudo still builds and passes its tests. Once build/PARROT_REVISION has been set to the Parrot release, it must not be changed until after the Rakudo release. In other words, we want each monthly release of Rakudo to be able to be built using the immediately prior release of Parrot.
  3. The short period following the Parrot release until the Rakudo release is generally intended for fixing bugs, updating documentation, and so on.
  4. As the actual release date nears, review the git log history to see if any additional items need to be added to the ChangeLog. This can be conveniently done with "git log --since=yyyy-mm-dd --reverse".
      $ git commit docs/ChangeLog
  5. When it's time to cut the release, create a new release announcement in docs/announce/YYYY.MM. It's often a good idea to use the previous month's file as a starting point for this. Highlight areas in which the new release is significant. If possible, also give some small details about the choice of release name. (If the details are a bit lengthy, this can often best be done as a separate section at the bottom of the announcement.)

    Include a list of contributors since the last release in the announcement. You can get an automatically generated list by running

      $ perl tools/

    Please check the result manually for duplicates and other errors.

      $ git add docs/announce/YYYY.MM
      $ git commit docs
  6. Update the release dates and names at the top of this file (docs/release_guide.pod). Also improve these instructions if you find any steps that are missing.
      $ git commit docs/release_guide.pod
  7. Make sure everything compiles and runs from a known clean state:
      $ make realclean
      $ perl --gen-parrot
      $ make
      $ make test
      $ make stresstest

    Continue adjusting things until make spectest passes as expected. Often this means fixing a bug, fudging a test, or (temporarily?) commenting out a test file in t/ . Use your best judgment or ask others if uncertain what to do here.

  8. 7.5

    Enter the new version into the VERSION file, and commit the changes:

      $ echo 2010.09 > VERSION
      $ git commit -m '[release] bump VERSION' VERSION
  9. Make sure any locally modified files have been pushed back to github.
      $ git status
      $ git push
  10. Create a tarball by entering make release VERSION=YYYY.MM, where YYYY.MM is the month for which the release is being made. This will create a tarball file named <rakudo-YYYY.MM.tgz>.

    Caution: this steps removes any untracked files in t/spec. So please make a backup if you have any important data in there.

  11. Unpack the tar file into another area, and test that it builds and runs properly. If there are any problems, fix them and go back to step 7.
  12. Tag the release by its release month ("MMMM.YY") and its code name.
      $ git tag -a -m"tag release #nn" MMMM.YY    # e.g., 2010.02
      $ git tag -a -m"tag release #nn" CODENAME   # e.g., "Bratislava"
      $ git push --tags
  13. Upload the release tarball to github's download area at
  14. To avoid public confusion with Rakudo Star releases that will follow a few days after each compiler release, we now publish compiler release announcements ONLY to (We may restart widespread announcements of compiler releases once they are known, or we may begin publishing a single announcement for both.)
  15. Update the Wikipedia entry at
  16. Promote the release anywhere else you think appropriate.
  17. You're done! Celebrate with the appropriate amount of fun.


Copyright (C) 2009-2010, The Perl Foundation.


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