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Announce: Rakudo Perl 6 compiler, Release #130 (2019.03)

On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I’m very happy to announce the March 2019 release of Rakudo Perl 6 #130. Rakudo is an implementation of Perl 6 on the Moar Virtual Machine[^1].

This release implements 6.c and 6.d versions of the Perl 6 specification. 6.c version of the language is available if you use the use v6.c version pragma, otherwise 6.d is the default.

Upcoming releases in 2019 will include new functionality that is not part of 6.c or 6.d specifications, available with a lexically scoped pragma. Our goal is to ensure that anything that is tested as part of 6.c and 6.d specifications 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 2019.03:

  • Fixes:
    • Fixed uncaught processor floating point exception on Rat.round [11da0fb4]
    • Fixed $a=~$a if use isms <Perl5> is active [df748ea7] [af868f84]
    • Fixed .WHICH methods that did not return ObjAt types [e50f4f2e][6b401dad][67cbd993][9df09621][0d29768a][ca8d8afc] [4b91610e][537621e4]
    • Fixed missing redeclaration of bound outer error [23663609]
    • Made X::TypeCheck::Assignment and X::Trait::Unknown more resilient against strange values [a6d8858e][54fe8a1a]
    • [6.d] $_ container is no longer is dynamic [33f79fef] [3d581c8d][c2e272ef]
    • Fixed thread safety of some state variables [a5b9fc2d]
    • Fixed .^compose calls on types stored in a scalar [ab8052dd]
    • Fixed Parameter.perl for slurpy parameters [d8b7fabe]
    • Fixed $*EXECUTABLE path construction after a chdir [5c14916b]
    • Fixed $*PROGRAM path construction after a chdir [cebf0cb7]
    • Fixed .^add_attribute calls with Attribute object stored in a scalar [bf0dbbe6]
    • Fixed hang in Channel subscribe/close/drain [9b77459b]
    • Fixed Inline::Perl5 failing to load when installed through the Staging repository [1c101a04]
    • Allowed parameterization of parent class in class declaration [35ecfc8e]
    • Made IO::Path.dir on non-existent paths throw rather than return a Failure [38f4b7b4]
    • Fixed line number accuracy in backtraces [5b231e09]
    • Made regex literals capture $/ and $! [8ef7c15e][ee2238f7] [4a2124a6]
    • Fixed «=>» crash if RHS is a List in a Scalar container [df96fa0f]
    • Tweaked Range.ACCEPTS to work better with Junctions [46409c07] [f3f7c5cb][d904b704]
    • Made Baggy.ACCEPTS signature the same as Setty.ACCEPTS [37ce147c]
    • Fixed "No concretization found" on role-qualified method call with inheritance [a6c8180f]
    • Fixed use of a role by its short name in some cases [b3eb3826] [9d6e508d]
    • Made sure that CArray can be STOREd into Buf/Blob [ada116ef][5e5c909d][30fc5146][84ed8548][bfadefaa][05b9aa0d] [b394b63c]
    • Made CUR uninstall .bat wrapper scripts [121ca5fd]
    • Fixed a problem with adding/subtracting negative values from Date [91ca8275]
    • Made sure hash slice auto-vivifies using infix metaop [616b757a] [e68e38e0]
    • Many improvements to the JS backend [634633be][8f2d9ed0][fc39f5ff] [9b20c476][822962da][e233f287][52de9657][6dd723a9][7b053d54] [17a2bcca][f7ba400e][ada01420]
    • Various improvements to produced messages [e48712a3][59bafb83] [6a8f08b9][89ca56af][8095cead][d499bd4b][7133b81e][f7704267]
  • Additions:
    • Added a candidates method to CompUnit::Repository::FileSystem and CompUnit::Repository::Installation, which acts as the API for module lookup. Internals were refactored to use this API for module lookup, which fixes some issues as a side effect (i.e. old bin scripts being invoked instead of a newer version) [2d007bf4][07f62c60][bed3bbd0][a25d5fa4][29d74709][085fa19c] [78de05eb][b378a157][d0a3fec9][d533d450][877e7dc0][270b355e] [683df8bf][e1ef571e][077f88a5][22021fdd][603010be][27e141cc] [ddb6abd0][c868ca9c][339ea850][3999d753][bfff01a5][d998c1ea] [83f0fd6c][d39e2fc4][74ccb4c8][67cf829f][92ebc333]
    • Added buf8/blob8 read-(u)bits / write-(u)bits methods for reading/writing any number of bits [45a945b5]
    • Added $?DISTRIBUTION to give introspection and IO capabilities to the current Distribution [32d480ab]
    • Added addendum to X::Method::NotFound so that we can give better error messages for specific cases [04dd52f9][b6c8f5ed]
    • Added HLL interface for creating Signature and Parameter objects [f329d6c6][3d3578b6][c4723cba][e116f3ad][3b9fd81d] [e4635189][9cd42b1f][86557cfd][d6b1bd2a][9485dd2b][7be075eb] [081b15ee][eb50d8ce]
    • Made does X::Control imply throwing to CONTROL [ca177e58]
    • Made QuantHashes parameterizable to limit the type of value that can be put in them [0d9e9f34][4bb5c33c][e87b7afb][fe38bdba] [bcc8054a][87b71c27][836c18ae][71a19c61]
    • Allowed is Type trait to handle parameterization like is Set[Int] [2ed2f398]
    • Added a dynamic-scope lexical pragma [871cbefc][88c46676] [9517c377]
  • Removals:
    • Removed ComptUnit::Repository::Installation and Distribution compatibility shims for old versions of panda and zef [f430518f]
    • Renamed Block/WhateverCode.pos to .POSITIONS [ccf350e4]
  • Build system:
    • Added a m-spectest5_precompile to run tests in precompilation mode [89fee86a][ec289a6c][bb36f04a]
    • Added create and remove JavaScript wrappers in ComptUnit::Repository::Installation [83286e29]
  • Efficiency:
    • Made postcircumfix:<[]> for CArray more than 3x as fast [f009cb4a]
    • Made Rational.floor/ceiling/Int about 1.1x as fast [cf0a6eaa]
    • Made Rational.Num about 1.05x as fast [236351ad]
    • Made stringification of Rat/FatRat 1.2x to 2.2x as fast [5c0ac4db]
    • Made constraint check on UInt 1.15x as fast [922d41b3]
    • Made comparisons with Rats 1.4x to 15x as fast [c11e7e6b] [4fecb72a]
    • Made negation of Rat/FatRat about 3x as fast [d195e146]
    • Made coercion of Int to Rat/FatRat 4x as fast [92321beb]
    • Several other Rat/FatRat optimizations [29d7f709][6dad5caf] [395d633d][e29554f5][91f67494]
    • Made unival() about 2x as fast [08ae9bfc][27332f04]
    • Made Buf/Blob.gist about 2.5x as fast [6d58e0b0]
    • Made Map/Hash.sort about 12x as fast [8ae4310e][edb53081]
    • Made Str.trim-trailing about 1.1x as fast [304feae9]
    • Several improvements to Date/DateTime/Instant/Duration handling [467394b8][de933656][9f28a423][92956164][3488a65e]
    • Added return type signatures for more optimization opportunities [ef565b2b][66f8ee0f][fb517b29][6af22bc3][30a534d1][2ce79561] [7a68df2b][5cf65b57][01d2e11c][26c0e620][0368fe95][e0cd1d99] [0797f93e][cbc3e72e][c45d2b82][bb84b66d][50f0bb2b][e58e3764]
    • Fixed a memory leak when a Callable has a definite return signature but the actual returned value was Nil [7aa796a9]
    • More aggressive lexical lowering and block flattening [e73853a1] [c28a0924][685f6cc3][b41e9f57][b0e7e375][5bbaabb9][42024539] [2468dea7][cf9e1f59][053f929f][852a593d][871b6f54][401a3547] [f741374c][64d08ad6][2a33bb1a][83c2070e][ab7f07db][91a4b3b1] [6b44c581][eb3917c2][a4c994f5][31c8fda2][17bf7415][8aa73306] [11884e03][87fcda81][6b078a05][19e4ace6][fcfd51be][541a4f16] [d2df5b80][7fb098d7][c0f83788][623450d8][08d87f70][f71ca0de] [c6053e6a]
    • Many small internal optimizations [6392634f][5540212c][7d3b7e11] [2d704af4][1611795d][cf0a6eaa][236351ad][501231ee][a904d25a] [87698317][93b5e2ef][f2ed3db7][485dec4d][64c88f91][839f28e7] [b4d114a3][225d2f96][7dea20ab][df8c5780][50e1ec33][3eeb7276] [5d707977][eb8561ba][f56e0756]
  • Internal:
    • Added nqp::const(BINARY_) constants [32c10e3c][420abcb9]
    • Added Rakudo::Internals::ImplementationDetail role to mark internal functionality [d248d47e][588037f0]
    • Moved some constant return values in Num methods to their signature [f02bceb7]

The following people contributed to this release:

Elizabeth Mattijsen, Jonathan Worthington, cfa, Paweł Murias, Will "Coke" Coleda, Aleks-Daniel Jakimenko-Aleksejev, Stefan Seifert, Timo Paulssen, Nick Logan, Richard Hainsworth, Daniel Green, Juan Julián Merelo Guervós, Tom Browder, Elena Merelo, Antonio, Altai-man, Itsuki Toyota, Samantha McVey, Trey Harris, Vadim Belman, Bart Wiegmans, Ben Davies, Martin Barth, Mike Swierczek, Alastair Douglas, Bruce Gray, Carl Masak, Christian Bartolomäus, Clifton Wood, Fabrice Fontaine, Michael D. Stemle, Jr, Michal Jurosz, Moritz Lenz, cygx, finanalyst, karl yerkes

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 (#131), is tentatively scheduled for 2019-04-20.

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.

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