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    Announce: Niecza Perl 6 v3

This is the third announcement of a distinguished Niecza version, and
we seem to be settling into a routine here. *Yay* On the other hand,
I didn't get around to doing as much as I wanted this month. Niecza tag
announcements occur on the last Monday of each month.

You can obtain a build of Niecza from [1]. This build contains a
working compiler as a set of .exe and .dll files suitable for use with
Mono or Microsoft .NET. If you wish to follow latest developments,
you can obtain the source from [2]; however, you will still need a
binary for bootstrapping, so you gain nothing from a "source is
better" perspective.

Niecza is a Perl 6 compiler project studying questions about the
efficient implementability of Perl 6 features. It currently targets
the Common Language Runtime; both Mono and Microsoft .NET are known to
work. On Windows, Cygwin is required for source builds only; see the
README for details.

    List of changes

Control operators with labels are now available, and function lexotically
as described in S04. This is possibly the first implementation of
lexotics. (Yes, attaching labels to loops and statements is now supported.
I'm not *that* cheap.) The goto statement is also supported.

The given/when structure is now available. Sorry, but there's no jump
table generation yet - a given with N equally likely cases will take
O(N) time. This includes succeed and proceed.

Niecza follows the recent S05 change to not generate lists for the
"?" quantifier. This will probably break most of your regex code.

Control operators will be translated into low-level jumps if no stack
unwinding is required; return statements are no longer at all expensive.

The regular expression forms rx//, m//, and s/// are now supported.

Several more metaoperators are supported, specifically Z+, X+, and [+].
The non-meta versions of Z and X of course came with the deal.

Here-documents are now deindented in a way that approximates S02.

Callwith and callsame are now supported.

Generation of "unsafe" code in the CLR backend has been turned off by
default.

New loops and conditionals: unless, repeat/while, repeat/until, loop.

Decimal literals like 1.5e2 parse now.

Indirect regex calls of the <&foo> form are supported now.

Many more passing spectests (over a thousand).

Minor stuff:
 * Various improvements to nam documentation.
 * ~~ now binds $_ in its right side.
 * Using a match operation without subcaptures in list context has been
   special-cased to DWME (Do What Moritz Expects). Hopefully it will be
   less suprising to you, too.
 * 1 [+] 2 now warns. (It means the same as 1 + 2)
 * The TODO lists have been reorganized and are hopefully more useful.
 * @.foo et al now impose list etc context as they should.
 * Sigilled constants behave in a slightly more useful way.
 * %() can now turn a list of pairs into a hash.
 * qw[] et al are now parsed correctly.
 * return now takes multiple arguments (and handles them like Rakudo does)
 * ++ and -- are polymorphic using .succ and .pred.
 * Any.join defaults separator to ""
 * ucfirst and lcfirst have been added
 * Capture expressions (and Capture.perl) are now supported.

Really minor stuff:
 * There's an [auto-compiling setting] notice, so you won't think the
   compiler has hung on Hello World.
 * Starting to clean up the nieczaisms in niecza's STD.pm6
 * The frontend no longer generates invalid JSON. (Oops!)
 * is readonly is now parsed and ignored.

    Getting involved

Contact sorear in irc.freenode.net #perl6 or via the sender address of
this mailing. Also check out the TODO file; whether you want to work
on stuff on it, or have cool ideas to add to it, both are good.

    Future directions

Next month's first priorities will be a development of a usable stopgap
eval and a reasonable way to install Niecza. Since 6model integration
was not completed last month, it is still on the agenda. That will mean
copying Jonathan Worthington's "6model" design to whatever extent is
reasonable; subtypes, role composition, type constraints on variables,
type constraints on parameters, enums, multiple dispatch, and
representation polymorphism will be implemented.

Much more focus on spectest support is also expected in the coming weeks.

[1] https://github.com/downloads/sorear/niecza/niecza-3.zip
[2] https://github.com/sorear/niecza
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