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    Announce: Rakudo Perl 6 compiler development release #55 ("Frankfurt")

On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I'm glad to announce the
August 2012 release of Rakudo Perl #55 "Frankfurt". Rakudo is an
implementation of Perl 6 on the Parrot Virtual Machine (see
<http://www.parrot.org>). The tarball for this release
is available from <http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/downloads>.

Please note: This announcement is not for the Rakudo Star
distribution[*] -- it's announcing a new release of the compiler only.
For the latest Rakudo Star release, see
<http://github.com/rakudo/star/downloads>.

The Rakudo Perl compiler follows a monthly release cycle, with each
release named after a Perl Mongers group. The August 2012 release is
code-named after Frankfurt am Mein, the city that hosted this year's
YAPC::EU, the yearly gathering of Perl hackers in europe.

This release brings a massive amount of changes; some of them are
outlined below:

- Memory usage of build stage is reduced by 35% - 40%
- Sigilless variables in signatures (prefixed by | or \)
- Blocks that declare variables don't turn into hash constuctors anymore
- Better error reporting for traits
- --> ReturnType in signatures and prefix type constraints of routine
  return types are now honored
- Circularities in module loading are now detected
- Improvements in inliner, which allow it to inline a wider
  range of routines

Some features have been deprecated:

- Parameters preceeded by a | or \ may not have a sigil anymore.
      sub f(\$x) { say $x }
  must be changed to
      sub f(\x) { say x }
  Usage of \$x will unconditionally warn in 2012.09 and be removed in 2012.10

- IO::Path.dir (which returns the directory part of the path)
  has been renamed to IO::Path.directory.
  IO::Path.dir will be removed or re-purposed in 2012.09

- The LAZY statement prefix will be removed in 2012.09. It was a non-specced
  experiment and did not work out well.

This is only a small peek at the changes in this release. For a more
detailed list, see "docs/ChangeLog".

The development team thanks all of our contributors and sponsors for
making Rakudo Perl possible, as well as those people who worked on
Parrot, the Perl 6 test suite and the specification.

The following people contributed to this release:

Jonathan Worthington, Moritz Lenz, Arne Skjærholt, Geoffrey Broadwell,
Will "Coke" Coleda, Tadeusz Sośnierz, Patrick R. Michaud, Felix Herrmann,
Carl Mäsak, kboga, thou, Brian Gernhardt, Stefan O'Rear, GlitchMr,
ChoHag, Larry Wall and lumi_

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 (#56) is scheduled for September 20, 2012. A
list of the other planned release dates and code names for 2012 is
available in the "docs/release_guide.pod" file. In general, Rakudo
development releases are scheduled to occur soon after each Parrot
monthly release. Parrot releases the third Tuesday of each month.

On behalf of the development team, I encourage you to try the new release,
to live life to its fullest, to cherish each moment, and to have fun.

[*] What's the difference between the Rakudo compiler and the Rakudo
    Star distribution?

    The Rakudo compiler is a compiler for the Perl 6 language.
    Nothing else.

    The Rakudo Star distribution is the Rakudo compiler plus a selection
    of useful Perl 6 modules, the most recent incarnation of the "Using
    Perl 6" book, and other software that can be used with the Rakudo
    compiler to enhance its utility. Rakudo Star is meant for early
    adopters who wish to explore what's possible with Rakudo Perl 6 and
    provide feedback on what works, what doesn't, and what else they
    would like to see included in the distribution.
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