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29 July 2010, 15:10

Rakudo Star - A first usable Perl 6

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The Rakudo and Perl 6 development teams have announced the release of "Rakudo Star" which they describe as a "useful and usable distribution of Perl 6". Rakudo Star is aimed at early adopters who want to be exposed to the features of Perl 6. It is made up of a release of the Rakudo Perl 6 compiler, version 2.6.0 of the Parrot Virtual Machine and various other Perl 6 resources, such as an early draft of a Perl 6 book and a range of "non-core" modules, such as XML::Writer, MiniDBI, SVG, Term::ANSIColor and LWP::Simple. Another module, Blizkost, is included to allow Perl 5 modules to be used from Perl 6.

The Rakudo Star release has many of the features of Perl 6, such as the object model, gradual typing, introspection, junctions and auto-threading, but there are also a number of features which are not yet handled correctly. This includes macros, binary objects, threads and concurrency, non-blocking I/O and typed arrays. Because of this, the developers do not consider Rakudo Star to be a "Perl 6.0.0" release. Attempting to use missing features will, in many cases, generate a warning from Rakudo Star.

In the future, the developers plan to make monthly releases of Rakudo Star as they implement the incomplete features; the next planned release is set for August 24th. Future releases may or may not include the non-core modules bundled with the current release. The source for Rakudo Star can be downloaded from the projects GitHub repository and is available under the Artistic Licence 2.0. Further instructions are available in the README file.


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