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Announce: Rakudo Perl 6 compiler, Release #126 (2018.09)

On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I’m very happy to announce the September 2018 release of Rakudo Perl 6 #126. Rakudo is an implementation of Perl 6 on the Moar Virtual Machine[^1].

This release implements the 6.c version of the Perl 6 specifications. It includes bugfixes and optimizations on top of the 2015.12 release of Rakudo.

Upcoming releases in 2018 will include new functionality that is not part of the 6.c specification, available with a lexically scoped pragma. Our goal is to ensure that anything that is tested as part of the 6.c specification will continue to work unchanged. There may be incremental spec releases this year as well.

The tarball for this release is available from https://rakudo.org/files/rakudo.

Please note: This announcement is not for the Rakudo Star distribution[^2] — it’s announcing a new release of the compiler only. For the latest Rakudo Star release, see https://rakudo.org/files/star.

The changes in this release are outlined below:

New in 2018.09:

  • Fixes:
    • Made native arrays throw when storing a lazy Seq [fc8c7f84][bb963a25]
    • Fixed smartmatching of Seqs against Iterables [d3cac14e]
    • Made it possible to emit Mu [3f10e2d1][db3768e3]
    • Fixed setting of $/ when matching NDF [cf1df1d7]
    • Fixed prefix calls with .:< ... > on integer literals [ec366c30] [1835f280]
    • .Array on shaped arrays now returns a proper Array instead of dying [efbd58c8]
    • Fixed .keys on one-dimensional native shaped arrays [5a9105ae]
    • Made Parameter.twigil also work on dynamic Parameters [39f2d68a]
    • Made sure the decoder is detached when closing handles [b07874e0]
    • Made sure X handles empty lists on RHS [6c93fde8]
    • Various improvements to produced messages [d419a313][c8db35e3]
  • Additions:
    • Added a PredictiveIterator role for Iterators that can determine how many values can still be generated, without actually generating them [3ffacb9f][5cbbcc6e][842d4b32] [78ae9028][000ac81e][c2c9df1c][cdf65305][ad64c757][eefbe6e1] [da663afd][e717e21b][ca5825b4]
    • Added use isms <C++> and make use isms assume all available "isms" (now 'Perl5' and 'C++') [57f89278][c6c2b6c4][528def48]
    • Partially implemented Pod # alias for %config :numbered [b4bf1660]
    • Added utf16 decodestream and file handle write support [8fcebb86] [e8a7564d][0bf909bb][d275ea09]
  • Efficiency:
    • Made Str.words about 3x as fast [b8f37bfc]
    • Made Str.lines about 2x as fast [3dd09be3]
    • Made IO::Handle.lines about 1.2x as fast [874ec002][d198c1b7]
    • Made IO::Path.lines about 1.1x as fast [1905838c]
    • Made Str.chop(N) about 5x as fast [07089e89]
    • Made Str.(r)index(needle,pos) about 1.2x as fast [5d1d792a]
    • Improved .elems and .Bool on Seq by adding count-only/bool-only methods [89055755][86468e1e][070780e0] [64ddacab][9738dfbf][d1e80dfe][9ff17367][b1c645ed][bd832061] [708ff624][5f3c2bfc][2a011a0e][faed3a9c][e73e3ecc][78bebc7a] [d970c2b3][f5ebad98]
  • Internal:
    • Moved some iterators from Range to R::Iterator [fcd45ff8]
    • Streamlined quoted words handling [92951168][ae739adf]
    • Fixed a bug in the optimizer where optimizations were improperly combining [e436f4e5]
    • Simplified Map.kv iterator [6977973d]
    • Replaced use of p6bool by hllbool and hllboolfor [672196cd] [20feda70][170ffd40][7e69c640][3272207a][f1f6825b]
    • Removed obsolete p6settypes extop [de4e8225]
    • Standardized use of proto's on .STORE methods [ed9b48de]
    • Removed EmptySeq [a4db33e7]

The following people contributed to this release:

Zoffix Znet, Elizabeth Mattijsen, Paweł Murias, Bart Wiegmans, Samantha McVey, Stefan Seifert, Jeremy Studer, Timo Paulssen, Aleks-Daniel Jakimenko-Aleksejev, Will "Coke" Coleda, Daniel Green, Tom Browder, MorayJ, Naoum Hankache, Nick Logan, Ben Davies, Curt Tilmes, David M. Cawthon, Lichtkind, Luis F. Uceta, 陈梓立, Alexander, Daniel Mita, Itsuki Toyota, Jonathan Stowe, Jonathan Worthington, Juan Julián Merelo Guervós, Robert Lemmen, Steve Mynott, Tobias Boege

If you would like to contribute or find out more information, visit https://perl6.org, https://rakudo.org/how-to-help, ask on the perl6-compiler@perl.org mailing list, or ask on IRC #perl6 on freenode.

Additionally, we invite you to make a donation to The Perl Foundation to sponsor Perl 6 development: https://donate.perlfoundation.org/ (put “Perl 6 Core Development Fund” in the ‘Purpose’ text field)

The next release of Rakudo (#127), is tentatively scheduled for 2018-10-20.

A list of the other planned release dates is available in the “docs/release_guide.pod” file.

The development team appreciates feedback! If you’re using Rakudo, do get back to us. Questions, comments, suggestions for improvements, cool discoveries, incredible hacks, or any other feedback – get in touch with us through (the above-mentioned) mailing list or IRC channel. Enjoy!

Please note that recent releases have known issues running on the JVM. We are working to get the JVM backend working again but do not yet have an estimated delivery date.

[^1]: See http://moarvm.org/

[^2]: What’s the difference between the Rakudo compiler and the Rakudo Star distribution?

The Rakudo compiler is a compiler for the Perl 6 language. Not much more.

The Rakudo Star distribution is the Rakudo compiler plus a selection of useful Perl 6 modules, a module installer, Perl 6 introductory documentation, and other software that can be used with the Rakudo compiler to enhance its utility.