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Add first draft of 2012.02 announce.

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1 parent 419a68c commit 0a79ced6f2844ebfad72416701ad4c427e367f6d @jnthn jnthn committed Feb 28, 2012
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+Announce: Rakudo Star - a useful, usable, "early adopter" distribution of Perl 6
+
+On behalf of the Rakudo and Perl 6 development teams, I'm happy to
+announce the February 2012 release of "Rakudo Star", a useful and
+usable distribution of Perl 6. The tarball for the February 2012
+release is available from <http://github.com/rakudo/star/downloads>.
+
+In the Perl 6 world, we make a distinction between the language
+("Perl 6") and specific implementations of the language such as
+"Rakudo Perl". This Star release includes release #49 of the
+Rakudo Perl 6 compiler [1], version 4.1 of the Parrot Virtual
+Machine [2], and various modules, documentation, and other
+resources collected from the Perl 6 community.
+
+Here are some of the major improvements in this release over the
+previous distribution release.
+
+* The FatRat type is implemneted, and Rat arithmetic now properly
+ defaults to Num if the denominator is too big
+
+* Object hashes are implemented, and can be declared with the syntax
+ my %h{Any} (for a hash with keys of type Any)
+
+* The <Some::Grammar::rulename> syntax is now implemented in regexes;
+ <foo> can also be used to call predeclared lexical rules
+
+* The Int($x) coercion syntax is implemented
+
+* &rename and &copy are now implemented
+
+* Improvements to the reduction meta-operator (order of magnitude faster,
+ some parsing issues fixed)
+
+* The <prior> regex built-in is now available, and matches whatever the
+ last successful match matched
+
+* A $match.make(...) method is available to set the AST for a match
+ object not stored in the $/ variable
+
+* Improved backtraces
+
+This release also contains a range of bug fixes, improvements to error
+reporting and better failure modes. Many more exceptions are thrown
+as typed exceptions.
+
+Due to continued evolution of and convergence with the Perl 6 spec, there
+are some changes to existing functionality that may affect your code:
+
+* You may no longer use the $.x form in submethods and attribute
+ initializers, as per spec; use the non-virtual $!x instead.
+
+* The LHS of the xx operator is now thunked
+
+* .conjugate is now called .conj
+
+* Enumeration values .gist to just the key, not the full name
+
+* An empty Buf is now False in boolean context
+
+Currently, we have maintained backwards compatibility with some
+changed pieces of syntax, but will drop them in an upcoming release:
+
+* "<...>" in proto regex bodies; now this should be written "*"
+
+* The use of "**" with a separator in regexes; this is now done by
+ using "%" or "%%" on another quantifier
+
+There are some key features of Perl 6 that Rakudo Star does not
+yet handle appropriately, although they will appear in upcoming
+releases. Some of the not-quite-there features include:
+ * pack and unpack
+ * macros
+ * threads and concurrency
+ * Unicode strings at levels other than codepoints
+ * pre and post constraints, and some other phasers
+ * interactive readline that understands Unicode
+ * non-blocking I/O
+ * much of Synopsis 9
+
+There is a new online resource at http://perl6.org/compilers/features
+that lists the known implemented and missing features of Rakudo Star
+2012.02 and other Perl 6 implementations.
+
+In many places we've tried to make Rakudo smart enough to inform the
+programmer that a given feature isn't implemented, but there are
+many that we've missed. Bug reports about missing and broken
+features are welcomed at <rakudobug@perl.org>.
+
+See http://perl6.org/ for links to much more information about
+Perl 6, including documentation, example code, tutorials, reference
+materials, specification documents, and other supporting resources.
+An updated draft of a Perl 6 book is available as
+<docs/UsingPerl6-draft.pdf> in the release tarball.
+
+The development team thanks all of the contributors and sponsors
+for making Rakudo Star possible. If you would like to contribute,
+see <http://rakudo.org/how-to-help>, ask on the perl6-compiler@perl.org
+mailing list, or join us on IRC #perl6 on freenode.
+
+[1] http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo
+[2] http://parrot.org/

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