December 2007 Archives

Call for Grant Proposals

The Perl Foundation is looking at giving some grants ranging from $500 to $3000 in February 2008.

In the past, we've supported Adam Kennedy's PPI, Nicholas Clark's work on Perl internals, Jouke Visser's pVoice, Chris Dolan on Perl::Critic and many others (just check http://www.perlfoundation.org/grants for more references).

You don't have to have a large, complex, or lengthy project. You don't even have to be a Perl master or guru. If you have a good idea and the means and ability to accomplish it, we want to hear from you!

Do you have something that could benefit the Perl community but just need that little extra help? Submit a grant proposal by January 31.

As a general rule, a properly formatted grant proposal is more likely to be approved if it meets the following criteria

  • It has widespread benefit to the Perl community or a large segment of it.
  • We have reason to believe that you can accomplish your goals.
  • We can afford it.

To submit a proposal, see the guidelines at http://www.perlfoundation.org/how_to_write_a_proposal, and TPF rules of operation at http://www.perlfoundation.org/rules_of_operation. Then send your proposal to tpf-proposals@perl-foundation.org before January 31.

Perl 5.10 now available

2 Comments

Today the Perl Foundation announces the release of Perl 5.10, the first major upgrade to the wildly popular dynamic programming language in over five years. This latest version builds on the successful 5.8.x series by adding powerful new language features and improving the Perl interpreter itself. The Perl development team, called the Perl Porters, has taken features and inspiration from the ambitious Perl 6 project, as well as from chiefly academic languages and blended them with Perl's pragmatic view to practicality and usefulness.

Significant new language features

The most exciting change is the new smart match operator. It implements a new kind of comparison, the specifics of which are contextual based on the inputs to the operator. For example, to find if scalar $needle is in array @haystack, simply use the new ~~ operator:

  if ( $needle ~~ @haystack ) ...

The result is that all comparisons now just Do The Right Thing, a hallmark of Perl programming. Building on the smart-match operator, Perl finally gets a switch statement, and it goes far beyond the kind of traditional switch statement found in languages like C, C++ and Java.

Regular expressions are now far more powerful. Programmers can now use named captures in regular expressions, rather than counting parentheses for positional captures. Perl 5.10 also supports recursive patterns, making many useful constructs, especially in parsing, now possible. Even with these new features, the regular expression engine has been tweaked, tuned and sped up in many cases.

Other improvements include state variables that allow variables to persist between calls to subroutines; user defined pragmata that allow users to write modules to influence the way Perl behaves; a defined-or operator; field hashes for inside-out objects and better error messages.

Interpreter improvements

It's not just language changes. The Perl interpreter itself is faster with a smaller memory footprint, and has several UTF-8 and threading improvements. The Perl installation is now relocatable, a blessing for systems administrators and operating system packagers. The source code is more portable, and of course many small bugs have been fixed along the way. It all adds up to the best Perl yet.

For a list of all changes in Perl 5.10, see Perl 5.10's perldelta document included with the source distribution. For a gentler introduction of just the high points, the slides for Ricardo Signes' Perl 5.10 For People Who Aren't Totally Insane talk are well worth reading.

Don't think that the Perl Porters are resting on their laurels. As Rafael Garcia-Suarez, the release manager for Perl 5.10, said: "I would like to thank every one of the Perl Porters for their efforts. I hope we'll all be proud of what Perl is becoming, and ready to get back to the keyboard for 5.12."

Where to get Perl

Perl is a standard feature in almost every operating system today except Windows. Users who don't want to wait for their operating system vendor to release a package can dig into Perl 5.10 by downloading it from CPAN, the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network, at http://search.cpan.org/dist/perl/, or from the Perl home page at www.perl.org.

Windows users can also take advantage of the power of Perl by compiling a source distribution from CPAN, or downloading one of two easily installed binary distributions. Strawberry Perl is a community-built binary distribution for Windows, and ActiveState's distribution is free but commercially-maintained. ActiveState's distribution is available now, and Strawberry Perl's is imminent.

Editor's notes

For questions, contact Perl Foundation Public Relations at pr@perlfoundation.org.

Perl:
perl.org
Perl is a dynamic programming language created by Larry Wall and first released in 1987. Perl borrows features from a variety of other languages including C, shell scripting (sh), AWK, sed and Lisp. It is distributed with practically every version of Unix available and runs on a huge number of platforms, as diverse as Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, z/OS, os400, QNX and Symbian.

Rafael Garcia-Suarez
email: rgarciasuarez@gmail.com
Rafael Garcia-Suarez is a French software engineer who lives in Paris, France, and who is currently employed by Booking.com. He has been a contributor to Perl for many years and has stewarded the birth of Perl 5.10 for the last few.

The Perl Foundation
perlfoundation.org
The Perl Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of the Perl programming language through open discussion, collaboration, design, and code. It is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in Holland, Michigan, USA in 2000.

It is with great pleasure that I announce the November 2007 status report for Patrick Michaud's Perl 6 Development Grant provided jointy by Mozilla Foundation and The Perl Foundation. It can be found at:

http://use.perl.org/~pmichaud/journal/35049

This is the first of four monthly status reports. As part of this grant, Patrick will use his use.perl.org journal to collect his writings regarding his work on Perl 6 & Parrot. To see a list of all of Patrick's progress reports, including in-progress ones, you can go to: http://use.perl.org/journal.pl?op=list&uid=6013

For a more technical overview and a going-forward view, Patrick created the ROADMAP document and included it in the Parrot source, http://svn.perl.org/parrot/trunk/languages/perl6/ROADMAP

The original announcement of this grant can be found at:
http://news.perlfoundation.org/2007/11/patrick_michaud_awarded_perl_6.html

About TPF

The Perl Foundation - supporting the Perl community since 2000. Find out more at www.perlfoundation.org.

Recent Comments

  • Ask Bjørn Hansen: Brian: perlbug is a command line interface to send a read more
  • Audrey Mascroft: PE File is the executable file type in the windows read more
  • Brian Fraser: Proposal idea for the grabs: A web frontend to perlbug. read more
  • Gabor Szabo: IMHO it would be good if people with ideas for read more
  • Alex: wow. I didn't understand it in detail, but I adore read more
  • pjcj.net: I can't think of any reason not to extend this read more
  • pjcj.net: It's always useful to have Ricardo at the QA hackathon read more
  • Karl Williamson: +1 I see this as a no-brainer that doesn't really read more
  • Karl Williamson: I agree with mirod. This is tremendously useful work for read more
  • Michael Kröll: I strongly support a grant extension. The results are extremely read more

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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