2018.05 Mille Plus Modules

In the past week, the number of modules on modules.perl6.org has reached a 1000 (actually, 1024 at the moment of this writing). This appears to be mostly caused by re-implementations of Perl 5 built-ins, core and CPAN modules (35 so far, among which tie, caller, pack, unpack and -X file test operators) that have an API as close as possible to their original Perl 5 counterparts.

Of sisters, stacks and CPAN

Jonathan Worthington gave his thoughts (Reddit comments) on the open letter by yours truly and the following outcry on Reddit. I would like to stress that I fully agree with his takeaway:

And, last but not least, it has been clear that – while it has in the last days often been expressed in raw and heated ways – we, as the Perl community, have two languages we’re passionate about and are keen to drive forward. Let’s do that together, in peace, not in pieces.


Zoffix Znet describes his journey of the past weeks in Rakudo Perl 6’s QAST (aka “Q” Abstract Syntax Tree) land, how he landed a number of optimizations, created a utility to inspect QAST nodes in a browser and killed a 10-headed dragon in one fell swoop. All in all it reads like a novel and it provides a tutorial so you can have your own adventures in QAST land and survive to tell!

Rakudo 2018.01 Compiler / Star Released

Aleks-Daniel Jakimenko-Aleksejev did all of the grunt work again to get the Rakudo Compiler 2018.01 release out of the door. Claudio Ramirez took the hint and created Linux packages for it, which now also include packages for OpenSuse! And to make it a sum of three, Steve Mynott put together Rakudo Star 2018.01, a useful and usable production distribution of Rakudo Perl 6. All available for download and your perusal now.

Rakudo on Javascript Update

Paweł Murias tells us about the progression of Rakudo Perl 6 on the Javascript backend. Having 73% of the official Perl 6 test-suite pass is no small feat!

He also implemented the Unicode Collation Algorithm as a separate Javascript module, so that Javascript developers can now also use this functionality. The power of Open Source at work!

Grant Extension Request for Comments

Jonathan Worthington has requested an extension of $10,000 for his Perl 6 Performance and Reliability Engineering grant. This will allow him to dedicate another 200 hours to this work. If you feel you have any comment to make on this request, please do so! Personally, I’m already looking forward to all of the goodies he will be delivering.

London Perl Workshop 2017

At least 2 Perl 6 videos have become available:

Meanwhile, Barbie made the London Perl Workshop 2017 Survey Results available. Alas, Perl 6 is only mentioned in the “Are there any topics you would specifically like to see featured?” section.

Other Core Developments

From the past 2 weeks:

  • Daniel Green supplied many JIT templates for nqp ops in MoarVM, allowing the test-t canary to drop under 2.5 seconds (a 10% improvement). Which will most definitely also show in other benchmarks and production code.
  • Stefan Seifert speeded up module loading quite significantly by reducing the overhead of repository searching. The result is that a full spectest runs more than 10% faster (down to 300 seconds from 339 for yours truly). He also worked on better JITting of the nqp ops used in the Perl 5 / Perl 6 bridge code of Inline::Perl5, resulting in another 10% improvement on top of the work of Daniel Green.
  • Jonathan Worthington made react blocks with a single whenever significantly faster.
  • Zoffix Znet made sure post-constraints on my now work (such as my Int $a where * < 20), apart from the work he’s done in QAST land. And he made foo.&var, aka calling a sub as a method, between 2.6x and 43x faster (depending on number of multi candidates involved).
  • Samantha McVey fixed various issues in the generation of the Unicode database that underlies all codepoint property checking.
  • Tom Browder continued his work in nqp and fixed a lot of issues with Perl 6 pod.
  • Jeremy Studer fixed a number of issues on the JVM backend.
  • And many, many, many other improvements, bug and documentation fixes.

Other Blog Posts

Perl 6 in comments

Meanwhile on Twitter

Meanwhile on StackOverflow

Meanwhile on perl6-users

Winding Down

Yours truly will be taking a week off, enjoying some long-planned PR&R (as in Prog Rock & Roll) in the Caribbean. And some vacation afterwards to recover. After which I will be back to be part of moving Perl forward.

Next week, Zoffix Znet will be taking the helm of the Perl 6 Weekly. Be kind to him and to each other. Catch you on the flipside!

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