FAQ
On behalf of the Rakudo and Perl 6 development teams, I'm happy to
announce the September 2010 release of "Rakudo Star", a useful and usable
distribution of Perl 6. The tarball for the September 2010 release is
available from <http://github.com/rakudo/star/downloads>.

Rakudo Star is aimed at "early adopters" of Perl 6. We know that
it still has some bugs, it is far slower than it ought to be, and
there are some advanced pieces of the Perl 6 language specification
that aren't implemented yet. But Rakudo Perl 6 in its current form
is also proving to be viable (and fun) for developing applications
and exploring a great new language. These "Star" releases are
intended to make Perl 6 more widely available to programmers, grow
the Perl 6 codebase, and gain additional end-user feedback about the
Perl 6 language and Rakudo's implementation of it.

In the Perl 6 world, we make a distinction between the language
("Perl 6") and specific implementations of the language such as
"Rakudo Perl". The September 2010 Star release includes release #33
of the Rakudo Perl 6 compiler [1], version 2.8.0 of the Parrot
Virtual Machine [2], and various modules, documentation,
and other resources collected from the Perl 6 community.

This release of Rakudo Star adds the following features over the
previous Star release:
* Several performance improvements have been implemented;
notably in the slurp() and reverse() functions
* The series operator has been refactored and updated to the current
specification
* Temporal objects (DateTime, Date, Instant, and Duration) are now
completely implemented
* Enumeration objects now conform much closer to the specification
* 'now' and 'time' are now terms instead of functions. This means
you can write 'time - 1' and it will do what you mean, but
'time()' is no longer valid.
* The Perl 6 specification tests [3] are now included in the distribution.

There are some key features of Perl 6 that Rakudo Star does not
yet handle appropriately, although they will appear in upcoming
releases. Thus, we do not consider Rakudo Star to be a
"Perl 6.0.0" or "1.0" release. Some of the not-quite-there
features include:
* nested package definitions
* binary objects, native types, pack and unpack
* typed arrays
* macros
* state variables
* threads and concurrency
* Unicode strings at levels other than codepoints
* pre and post constraints, and some other phasers
* interactive readline that understands Unicode
* backslash escapes in regex <[...]> character classes
* non-blocking I/O
* most of Synopsis 9
* perl6doc or pod manipulation tools

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.

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.
An updated 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-compiler@perl.org
mailing list, or join us on IRC #perl6 on freenode.

Rakudo Star releases are created on a monthly cycle or as needed
in response to important bug fixes or improvements. The next planned
release of Rakudo Star will be on October 26, 2010.

[1] http://github.com/rakudo/rakudo
[2] http://parrot.org/
[3] http://github.com/perl6/roast

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