Announce: Rakudo Perl 6 development release #16 ("Bratislava")

On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I'm pleased to announce the April 2009 development release of Rakudo Perl #16 "Bratislava". Rakudo is an implementation of Perl 6 on the Parrot Virtual Machine [1]. The tarball for the April 2009 release is available from .

Due to the continued rapid pace of Rakudo development and the frequent addition of new Perl 6 features and bugfixes, we continue to recommend that people wanting to use or work with Rakudo obtain the latest source directly from the main repository at github. More details are available at .

Rakudo Perl follows a monthly release cycle, with each release code named after a Perl Mongers group. This release is named "Bratislava", home to Jonathan Worthington and reportedly an excellent place to obtain beer (a key component of Jonathan's contributions to Perl). The group is quite active [2], with regular technical presentations and social gatherings.

In this release of Rakudo Perl, we've made the following major changes and improvements:

  • Rakudo is now passing 10,467 spectests, an increase of 3,194 passing tests since the March 2009 release. With this release Rakudo is now passing approximately 65% of the available spectest suite.
  • About 2/3 of the increase in passing tests is due to improved Unicode support in Rakudo; constructs such as "\c[LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A]" and Unicode character properties in regexes are now supported.
  • The prefix:<=> operator is now gone from the Perl 6 specification (and thus from Rakudo). Use .get for reading individual items from iterators.
  • Rakudo now supports typed arrays and hashes (my Int @array), as well as parametric versions of the Associative, Positional, and Callable roles, and parametric role subtyping.
  • Rakudo now has sockets support (IO::Socket).
  • Subroutine return types are now enforced in some cases.
  • Rakudo now supports lexical sub declarations.
  • Rakudo now supports some P5-style regexes.
  • The "quantify-by-separator" feature has been added, so that one can write / [\w+] ** ',' / to get a comma-separated list of words.
  • More builtin functions and methods have been rewritten in Perl 6 and placed as part of the setting.
  • Release tar files now contain local copies of the appropriate spectests, instead of obtaining checkout copies via Subversion.
  • There are additional improvements and features in this release, see docs/ChangeLog for a more complete list.

The development team thanks all of our contributors and sponsors for making Rakudo Perl possible. If you would like to contribute, see , ask on the mailing list, or ask on IRC #perl6 on freenode.

The next release of Rakudo (#17) is scheduled for May 21, 2009. A list of the other planned release dates and codenames for 2009 is available in the "docs/release_guide.pod" file. In general, Rakudo development releases are scheduled to occur two days after each Parrot monthly release. Parrot releases the third Tuesday of each month.

Have fun!

References: [1] Parrot, [2],

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