On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I'm pleased to announce
the June 2009 development release of Rakudo Perl #18 "Pittsburgh".
Rakudo is an implementation of Perl 6 on the Parrot Virtual Machine [1].
The tarball for the June 2009 release is available from
http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/downloads .

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 http://rakudo.org/how-to-get-rakudo .

Rakudo Perl follows a monthly release cycle, with each release code named
after a Perl Mongers group.  This release is named "Pittsburgh", which
is the host for YAPC|10 (YAPC::NA 2009) [2] and the Parrot Virtual Machine
Workshop [3].  Pittsburgh.pm has also sponsored hackathons for Rakudo 
Perl as part of the 2008 Pittsburgh Perl Workshop [4].

In this release of Rakudo Perl, we've focused our efforts on refactoring
many of Rakudo's internals; these refactors improve performance, 
bring us closer to the Perl 6 specification, operate more cleanly
with Parrot, and provide a stronger foundation for features to be
implemented in the near future.  Some of the specific major changes
and improvements in this release include:

* Rakudo is now passing 11,536 spectests, an increase of 194
  passing tests since the May 2009 release.  With this release
  Rakudo is now passing 68% of the available spectest suite.

* Method dispatch has been substantially refactored; the new dispatcher
  is significantly faster and follows the Perl 6 specification more

* Object initialization via the BUILD and CREATE (sub)methods is
  substantially improved.

* All return values are now type checked (previously only explicit
  'return' statements would perform type checking).

* String handling is significantly improved: fewer Unicode-related
  bugs exist, and parsing speed is greatly improved for some programs 
  containing characters in the Latin-1 set.

* The IO .lines and .get methods now follow the specification more closely.

* User-defined operators now also receive some of their associated 
  meta variants.

* The 'is export' trait has been improved; more builtin functions
  and methods can be written in Perl 6 instead of PIR.

* Many Parrot changes have improved performance and reduced overall
  memory leaks (although there's still much more improvement needed).

The development team thanks all of our contributors and sponsors for
making Rakudo Perl possible.  If you would like to contribute,
see http://rakudo.org/how-to-help , ask on the perl6-compi...@perl.org
mailing list, or ask on IRC #perl6 on freenode.

The next release of Rakudo (#19) is scheduled for July 23, 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!

[1]  Parrot, http://parrot.org/
[2]  YAPC|10 http://yapc10.org/yn2009/
[3]  Parrot Virtual Machine Workshop, http://yapc10.org/yn2009/talk/2045
[4]  Pittsburgh Perl Workshop, http://pghpw.org/ppw2008/

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