Provided by: perl-doc_5.14.2-6ubuntu2_all bug


       perl594delta - what is new for perl v5.9.4


       This document describes differences between the 5.9.3 and the 5.9.4 development releases.
       See perl590delta, perl591delta, perl592delta and perl593delta for the differences between
       5.8.0 and 5.9.3.

Incompatible Changes

   chdir FOO
       A bareword argument to chdir() is now recognized as a file handle.  Earlier releases
       interpreted the bareword as a directory name.  (Gisle Aas)

   Handling of pmc files
       An old feature of perl was that before "require" or "use" look for a file with a .pm
       extension, they will first look for a similar filename with a .pmc extension. If this file
       is found, it will be loaded in place of any potentially existing file ending in a .pm

       Previously, .pmc files were loaded only if more recent than the matching .pm file.
       Starting with 5.9.4, they'll be always loaded if they exist. (This trick is used by Pugs.)

   @- and @+ in patterns
       The special arrays "@-" and "@+" are no longer interpolated in regular expressions.
       (Sadahiro Tomoyuki)

   $AUTOLOAD can now be tainted
       If you call a subroutine by a tainted name, and if it defers to an AUTOLOAD function, then
       $AUTOLOAD will be (correctly) tainted.  (Rick Delaney)

Core Enhancements

   state() variables
       A new class of variables has been introduced. State variables are similar to "my"
       variables, but are declared with the "state" keyword in place of "my". They're visible
       only in their lexical scope, but their value is persistent: unlike "my" variables, they're
       not undefined at scope entry, but retain their previous value. (Rafael Garcia-Suarez)

       To use state variables, one needs to enable them by using

           use feature "state";

       or by using the "-E" command-line switch in one-liners.

       See "Persistent variables via state()" in perlsub.

       The "UNIVERSAL" class has a new method, "DOES()". It has been added to solve semantic
       problems with the "isa()" method. "isa()" checks for inheritance, while "DOES()" has been
       designed to be overridden when module authors use other types of relations between classes
       (in addition to inheritance). (chromatic)

       See "$obj->DOES( ROLE )" in UNIVERSAL.

   Exceptions in constant folding
       The constant folding routine is now wrapped in an exception handler, and if folding throws
       an exception (such as attempting to evaluate 0/0), perl now retains the current optree,
       rather than aborting the whole program.  (Nicholas Clark, Dave Mitchell)

   Source filters in @INC
       It's possible to enhance the mechanism of subroutine hooks in @INC by adding a source
       filter on top of the filehandle opened and returned by the hook. This feature was planned
       a long time ago, but wasn't quite working until now. See "require" in perlfunc for
       details. (Nicholas Clark)

       MAD, which stands for Misc Attribute Decoration, is a still-in-development work leading to
       a Perl 5 to Perl 6 converter. To enable it, it's necessary to pass the argument "-Dmad" to
       Configure. The obtained perl isn't binary compatible with a regular perl 5.9.4, and has
       space and speed penalties; moreover not all regression tests still pass with it. (Larry
       Wall, Nicholas Clark)

Modules and Pragmas

       ·   "encoding::warnings" is now a lexical pragma. (Although on older perls, which don't
           have support for lexical pragmas, it keeps its global behaviour.) (Audrey Tang)

       ·   "threads" is now a dual-life module, also available on CPAN. It has been expanded in
           many ways. A kill() method is available for thread signalling.  One can get thread
           status, or the list of running or joinable threads.

           A new "threads->exit()" method is used to exit from the application (this is the
           default for the main thread) or from the current thread only (this is the default for
           all other threads). On the other hand, the exit() built-in now always causes the whole
           application to terminate. (Jerry D. Hedden)

   New Core Modules
       ·   "Hash::Util::FieldHash", by Anno Siegel, has been added. This module provides support
           for field hashes: hashes that maintain an association of a reference with a value, in
           a thread-safe garbage-collected way.  Such hashes are useful to implement inside-out

       ·   "Module::Build", by Ken Williams, has been added. It's an alternative to
           "ExtUtils::MakeMaker" to build and install perl modules.

       ·   "Module::Load", by Jos Boumans, has been added. It provides a single interface to load
           Perl modules and .pl files.

       ·   "Module::Loaded", by Jos Boumans, has been added. It's used to mark modules as loaded
           or unloaded.

       ·   "Package::Constants", by Jos Boumans, has been added. It's a simple helper to list all
           constants declared in a given package.

       ·   "Win32API::File", by Tye McQueen, has been added (for Windows builds).  This module
           provides low-level access to Win32 system API calls for files/dirs.

Utility Changes

       "config_data" is a new utility that comes with "Module::Build". It provides a command-line
       interface to the configuration of Perl modules that use Module::Build's framework of
       configurability (that is, *::ConfigData modules that contain local configuration
       information for their parent modules.)


   New manpage, perlpragma
       The perlpragma manpage documents how to write one's own lexical pragmas in pure Perl
       (something that is possible starting with 5.9.4).

   New manpage, perlreguts
       The perlreguts manpage, courtesy of Yves Orton, describes internals of the Perl regular
       expression engine.

   New manpage, perlunitut
       The perlunitut manpage is an tutorial for programming with Unicode and string encodings in
       Perl, courtesy of Juerd Waalboer.

Performance Enhancements

   Memory optimisations
       Several internal data structures (typeglobs, GVs, CVs, formats) have been restructured to
       use less memory. (Nicholas Clark)

   UTF-8 cache optimisation
       The UTF-8 caching code is now more efficient, and used more often.  (Nicholas Clark)

   Regular expressions
       Engine de-recursivised
           The regular expression engine is no longer recursive, meaning that patterns that used
           to overflow the stack will either die with useful explanations, or run to completion,
           which, since they were able to blow the stack before, will likely take a very long
           time to happen. If you were experiencing the occasional stack overflow (or segfault)
           and upgrade to discover that now perl apparently hangs instead, look for a degenerate
           regex. (Dave Mitchell)

       Single char char-classes treated as literals
           Classes of a single character are now treated the same as if the character had been
           used as a literal, meaning that code that uses char-classes as an escaping mechanism
           will see a speedup. (Yves Orton)

       Trie optimisation of literal string alternations
           Alternations, where possible, are optimised into more efficient matching structures.
           String literal alternations are merged into a trie and are matched simultaneously.
           This means that instead of O(N) time for matching N alternations at a given point the
           new code performs in O(1) time. (Yves Orton)

           Note: Much code exists that works around perl's historic poor performance on
           alternations. Often the tricks used to do so will disable the new optimisations.
           Hopefully the utility modules used for this purpose will be educated about these new
           optimisations by the time 5.10 is released.

       Aho-Corasick start-point optimisation
           When a pattern starts with a trie-able alternation and there aren't better
           optimisations available the regex engine will use Aho-Corasick matching to find the
           start point. (Yves Orton)

   Sloppy stat on Windows
       On Windows, perl's stat() function normally opens the file to determine the link count and
       update attributes that may have been changed through hard links. Setting
       ${^WIN32_SLOPPY_STAT} to a true value speeds up stat() by not performing this operation.
       (Jan Dubois)

Installation and Configuration Improvements

   Relocatable installations
       There is now Configure support for creating a relocatable perl tree. If you Configure with
       "-Duserelocatableinc", then the paths in @INC (and everything else in %Config) can be
       optionally located via the path of the perl executable.

       That means that, if the string ".../" is found at the start of any path, it's substituted
       with the directory of $^X. So, the relocation can be configured on a per-directory basis,
       although the default with "-Duserelocatableinc" is that everything is relocated. The
       initial install is done to the original configured prefix.

       Many improvements have been made towards making Perl work correctly on z/OS.

       Perl has been reported to work on DragonFlyBSD.

   Compilation improvements
       All ppport.h files in the XS modules bundled with perl are now autogenerated at build
       time. (Marcus Holland-Moritz)

   New probes
       The configuration process now detects whether strlcat() and strlcpy() are available.  When
       they are not available, perl's own version is used (from Russ Allbery's public domain
       implementation).  Various places in the perl interpreter now use them. (Steve Peters)

   Windows build improvements
       Building XS extensions
           Support for building XS extension modules with the free MinGW compiler has been
           improved in the case where perl itself was built with the Microsoft VC++ compiler.

       Support for 64-bit compiler
           Support for building perl with Microsoft's 64-bit compiler has been improved.

Selected Bug Fixes

   PERL5SHELL and tainting
       On Windows, the PERL5SHELL environment variable is now checked for taintedness. (Rafael

   Using *FILE{IO}
       "stat()" and "-X" filetests now treat *FILE{IO} filehandles like *FILE filehandles. (Steve

   Overloading and reblessing
       Overloading now works when references are reblessed into another class.  Internally, this
       has been implemented by moving the flag for "overloading" from the reference to the
       referent, which logically is where it should always have been. (Nicholas Clark)

   Overloading and UTF-8
       A few bugs related to UTF-8 handling with objects that have stringification overloaded
       have been fixed. (Nicholas Clark)

   eval memory leaks fixed
       Traditionally, "eval 'syntax error'" has leaked badly. Many (but not all) of these leaks
       have now been eliminated or reduced. (Dave Mitchell)

   Random device on Windows
       In previous versions, perl would read the file /dev/urandom if it existed when seeding its
       random number generator.  That file is unlikely to exist on Windows, and if it did would
       probably not contain appropriate data, so perl no longer tries to read it on Windows.
       (Alex Davies)

New or Changed Diagnostics

       State variable %s will be reinitialized
           One can assign initial values to state variables, but not when they're declared as a
           sub-part of a list assignment. See perldiag.

Changed Internals

       A new file, mathoms.c, contains functions that aren't used anymore in the perl core, but
       remain around because modules out there might still use them. They come from a
       factorization effort: for example, many PP functions are now shared for several ops.

       The implementation of the special variables $^H and %^H has changed, to allow implementing
       lexical pragmas in pure perl.

Known Problems

       One warning test (number 263 in lib/warnings.t) fails under UTF-8 locales.

       Bytecode tests fail under several platforms. We are considering removing support for
       byteloader and compiler before the 5.10.0 release.

Reporting Bugs

       If you find what you think is a bug, you might check the articles recently posted to the
       comp.lang.perl.misc newsgroup and the perl bug database at .
       There may also be information at , the Perl Home Page.

       If you believe you have an unreported bug, please run the perlbug program included with
       your release.  Be sure to trim your bug down to a tiny but sufficient test case.  Your bug
       report, along with the output of "perl -V", will be sent off to to be
       analysed by the Perl porting team.


       The Changes file for exhaustive details on what changed.

       The INSTALL file for how to build Perl.

       The README file for general stuff.

       The Artistic and Copying files for copyright information.