# 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 June 2015 release of "Rakudo Star", a useful and usable distribution of Perl 6. The tarball for the June 2015 release is available from <http://rakudo.org/downloads/star/>.
This Rakudo Star release comes with support for the MoarVM backend (all module tests pass on supported platforms). 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 2015.06] of the [Rakudo Perl 6 compiler], version 2015.06 of [MoarVM], plus various modules, documentation, and other resources collected from the Perl 6 community. Other Rakudo Perl 6 Comiler changes included in this release: https://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/blob/nom/docs/announce/2015.04.md https://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/blob/nom/docs/announce/2015.05.md https://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/blob/nom/docs/announce/2015.06.md [Rakudo Perl 6 compiler]: http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo [MoarVM]: http://moarvm.org/ Some of the new compiler features added to this release include: * "0" (0 as a string) is now True, no special-casing anymore * an Int() coercion type in a multi now creates two candidates: Any and Int * native arrays * starts-with/substr-eq/ends-with for comparing strings inside other strings * where constraints on variable and attribute declarations * 'is rw' parameters implemented for native subs (they get passed as a pointer) * use Foo:from\<Perl5\> and EVAL $code, :lang\<perl5\> are now supported as long as Inline::Perl5 is installed. Allows passing most of S01 spec tests. * NFG, NFC, NFD, Uni * "unit" declaration needed for blockless packages * Various API changes for the Great List Refactor, such as... + 'for' loops not longer flatten; use 'for flat' for that + .map no longer flattens, map as a listop does. Use .flatmap to get the old behavior + Likewise other methods that used to flatten their invocant no longer do: all, any, one, none, unique, squish, min, max, minmax, classify, and categorize + Nil no longer iterates like the empty List. Use () or Empty instead. * .pick($n)/roll($n) now always return lists, even when $n == 1 * The "is cached" trait no longer works on methods, throws a NYI instead * Method .map should be used instead of .for * The REPL is strict by default now, that leaves only '-e' lines to be lax * Implement new @*INC handling (about 30% faster startup time) (bare startup time is now below 100 ms on some machines) * Implemented CUnions which map to the union C type definition for NativeCall * Implemented HAS declarator for attributes to mark it embedded into the CStruct or CUnion * Lexical pragma 'use trace' now outputs statements on STDERR 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: * advanced macros * non-blocking I/O (in progress) * much of Synopsis 9 and 11 There is an online resource at <http://perl6.org/compilers/features> that lists the known implemented and missing features of Rakudo's backends 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 <rakudo...@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. A 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-compi...@perl.org> mailing list, or join us on IRC #perl6 on freenode.