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PERL5100DELTA(1)       Perl Programmers Reference Guide       PERL5100DELTA(1)

       perl5100delta - what is new for perl 5.10.0

       This document describes the differences between the 5.8.8 release and the 5.10.0 release.

       Many of the bug fixes in 5.10.0 were already seen in the 5.8.X maintenance releases; they are not duplicated
       here and are documented in the set of man pages named perl58[1-8]?delta.

Core Enhancements
   The "feature" pragma
       The "feature" pragma is used to enable new syntax that would break Perl's backwards-compatibility with older
       releases of the language. It's a lexical pragma, like "strict" or "warnings".

       Currently the following new features are available: "switch" (adds a switch statement), "say" (adds a "say"
       built-in function), and "state" (adds a "state" keyword for declaring "static" variables). Those features are
       described in their own sections of this document.

       The "feature" pragma is also implicitly loaded when you require a minimal perl version (with the "use VERSION"
       construct) greater than, or equal to, 5.9.5. See feature for details.

   New -E command-line switch
       -E is equivalent to -e, but it implicitly enables all optional features (like "use feature ":5.10"").

   Defined-or operator
       A new operator "//" (defined-or) has been implemented.  The following expression:

           $a // $b

       is merely equivalent to

          defined $a ? $a : $b

       and the statement

          $c //= $d;

       can now be used instead of

          $c = $d unless defined $c;

       The "//" operator has the same precedence and associativity as "||".  Special care has been taken to ensure
       that this operator Do What You Mean while not breaking old code, but some edge cases involving the empty
       regular expression may now parse differently.  See perlop for details.

   Switch and Smart Match operator
       Perl 5 now has a switch statement. It's available when "use feature 'switch'" is in effect. This feature
       introduces three new keywords, "given", "when", and "default":

           given ($foo) {
               when (/^abc/) { $abc = 1; }
               when (/^def/) { $def = 1; }
               when (/^xyz/) { $xyz = 1; }
               default { $nothing = 1; }

       A more complete description of how Perl matches the switch variable against the "when" conditions is given in
       "Switch statements" in perlsyn.

       This kind of match is called smart match, and it's also possible to use it outside of switch statements, via
       the new "~~" operator. See "Smart matching in detail" in perlsyn.

       This feature was contributed by Robin Houston.

   Regular expressions
       Recursive Patterns
           It is now possible to write recursive patterns without using the "(??{})" construct. This new way is more
           efficient, and in many cases easier to read.

           Each capturing parenthesis can now be treated as an independent pattern that can be entered by using the
           "(?PARNO)" syntax ("PARNO" standing for "parenthesis number"). For example, the following pattern will
           match nested balanced angle brackets:

                ^                      # start of line
                (                      # start capture buffer 1
                   <                   #   match an opening angle bracket
                   (?:                 #   match one of:
                       (?>             #     don't backtrack over the inside of this group
                           [^<>]+      #       one or more non angle brackets
                       )               #     end non backtracking group
                   |                   #     ... or ...
                       (?1)            #     recurse to bracket 1 and try it again
                   )*                  #   0 or more times.
                   >                   #   match a closing angle bracket
                )                      # end capture buffer one
                $                      # end of line

           PCRE users should note that Perl's recursive regex feature allows backtracking into a recursed pattern,
           whereas in PCRE the recursion is atomic or "possessive" in nature.  As in the example above, you can add
           (?>) to control this selectively.  (Yves Orton)

       Named Capture Buffers
           It is now possible to name capturing parenthesis in a pattern and refer to the captured contents by name.
           The naming syntax is "(?<NAME>....)".  It's possible to backreference to a named buffer with the "\k<NAME>"
           syntax. In code, the new magical hashes "%+" and "%-" can be used to access the contents of the capture

           Thus, to replace all doubled chars with a single copy, one could write


           Only buffers with defined contents will be "visible" in the "%+" hash, so it's possible to do something

               foreach my $name (keys %+) {
                   print "content of buffer '$name' is $+{$name}\n";

           The "%-" hash is a bit more complete, since it will contain array refs holding values from all capture
           buffers similarly named, if there should be many of them.

           "%+" and "%-" are implemented as tied hashes through the new module "Tie::Hash::NamedCapture".

           Users exposed to the .NET regex engine will find that the perl implementation differs in that the numerical
           ordering of the buffers is sequential, and not "unnamed first, then named". Thus in the pattern


           $1 will be 'A', $2 will be 'B', $3 will be 'C' and $4 will be 'D' and not $1 is 'A', $2 is 'C' and $3 is
           'B' and $4 is 'D' that a .NET programmer would expect. This is considered a feature. :-) (Yves Orton)

       Possessive Quantifiers
           Perl now supports the "possessive quantifier" syntax of the "atomic match" pattern. Basically a possessive
           quantifier matches as much as it can and never gives any back. Thus it can be used to control backtracking.
           The syntax is similar to non-greedy matching, except instead of using a '?' as the modifier the '+' is
           used. Thus "?+", "*+", "++", "{min,max}+" are now legal quantifiers. (Yves Orton)

       Backtracking control verbs
           The regex engine now supports a number of special-purpose backtrack control verbs: (*THEN), (*PRUNE),
           (*MARK), (*SKIP), (*COMMIT), (*FAIL) and (*ACCEPT). See perlre for their descriptions. (Yves Orton)

       Relative backreferences
           A new syntax "\g{N}" or "\gN" where "N" is a decimal integer allows a safer form of back-reference notation
           as well as allowing relative backreferences. This should make it easier to generate and embed patterns that
           contain backreferences. See "Capture buffers" in perlre. (Yves Orton)

       "\K" escape
           The functionality of Jeff Pinyan's module Regexp::Keep has been added to the core. In regular expressions
           you can now use the special escape "\K" as a way to do something like floating length positive lookbehind.
           It is also useful in substitutions like:


           that can now be converted to


           which is much more efficient. (Yves Orton)

       Vertical and horizontal whitespace, and linebreak
           Regular expressions now recognize the "\v" and "\h" escapes that match vertical and horizontal whitespace,
           respectively. "\V" and "\H" logically match their complements.

           "\R" matches a generic linebreak, that is, vertical whitespace, plus the multi-character sequence

       say() is a new built-in, only available when "use feature 'say'" is in effect, that is similar to print(), but
       that implicitly appends a newline to the printed string. See "say" in perlfunc. (Robin Houston)

   Lexical $_
       The default variable $_ can now be lexicalized, by declaring it like any other lexical variable, with a simple

           my $_;

       The operations that default on $_ will use the lexically-scoped version of $_ when it exists, instead of the
       global $_.

       In a "map" or a "grep" block, if $_ was previously my'ed, then the $_ inside the block is lexical as well (and
       scoped to the block).

       In a scope where $_ has been lexicalized, you can still have access to the global version of $_ by using $::_,
       or, more simply, by overriding the lexical declaration with "our $_". (Rafael Garcia-Suarez)

   The "_" prototype
       A new prototype character has been added. "_" is equivalent to "$" but defaults to $_ if the corresponding
       argument isn't supplied (both "$" and "_" denote a scalar). Due to the optional nature of the argument, you can
       only use it at the end of a prototype, or before a semicolon.

       This has a small incompatible consequence: the prototype() function has been adjusted to return "_" for some
       built-ins in appropriate cases (for example, "prototype('CORE::rmdir')"). (Rafael Garcia-Suarez)

   UNITCHECK blocks
       "UNITCHECK", a new special code block has been introduced, in addition to "BEGIN", "CHECK", "INIT" and "END".

       "CHECK" and "INIT" blocks, while useful for some specialized purposes, are always executed at the transition
       between the compilation and the execution of the main program, and thus are useless whenever code is loaded at
       runtime. On the other hand, "UNITCHECK" blocks are executed just after the unit which defined them has been
       compiled. See perlmod for more information. (Alex Gough)

   New Pragma, "mro"
       A new pragma, "mro" (for Method Resolution Order) has been added. It permits to switch, on a per-class basis,
       the algorithm that perl uses to find inherited methods in case of a multiple inheritance hierarchy. The default
       MRO hasn't changed (DFS, for Depth First Search). Another MRO is available: the C3 algorithm. See mro for more
       information.  (Brandon Black)

       Note that, due to changes in the implementation of class hierarchy search, code that used to undef the *ISA
       glob will most probably break. Anyway, undef'ing *ISA had the side-effect of removing the magic on the @ISA
       array and should not have been done in the first place. Also, the cache *::ISA::CACHE:: no longer exists; to
       force reset the @ISA cache, you now need to use the "mro" API, or more simply to assign to @ISA (e.g. with
       "@ISA = @ISA").

   readdir() may return a "short filename" on Windows
       The readdir() function may return a "short filename" when the long filename contains characters outside the
       ANSI codepage.  Similarly Cwd::cwd() may return a short directory name, and glob() may return short names as
       well.  On the NTFS file system these short names can always be represented in the ANSI codepage.  This will not
       be true for all other file system drivers; e.g. the FAT filesystem stores short filenames in the OEM codepage,
       so some files on FAT volumes remain unaccessible through the ANSI APIs.

       Similarly, $^X, @INC, and $ENV{PATH} are preprocessed at startup to make sure all paths are valid in the ANSI
       codepage (if possible).

       The Win32::GetLongPathName() function now returns the UTF-8 encoded correct long file name instead of using
       replacement characters to force the name into the ANSI codepage.  The new Win32::GetANSIPathName() function can
       be used to turn a long pathname into a short one only if the long one cannot be represented in the ANSI

       Many other functions in the "Win32" module have been improved to accept UTF-8 encoded arguments.  Please see
       Win32 for details.

   readpipe() is now overridable
       The built-in function readpipe() is now overridable. Overriding it permits also to override its operator
       counterpart, "qx//" (a.k.a. "``").  Moreover, it now defaults to $_ if no argument is provided. (Rafael Garcia-

   Default argument for readline()
       readline() now defaults to *ARGV if no argument is provided. (Rafael Garcia-Suarez)

   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, Nicholas Clark)

       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 Private Variables" in perlsub.

   Stacked filetest operators
       As a new form of syntactic sugar, it's now possible to stack up filetest operators. You can now write "-f -w -x
       $file" in a row to mean "-x $file && -w _ && -f _". See "-X" in perlfunc.

       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.

       Formats were improved in several ways. A new field, "^*", can be used for variable-width, one-line-at-a-time
       text. Null characters are now handled correctly in picture lines. Using "@#" and "~~" together will now produce
       a compile-time error, as those format fields are incompatible.  perlform has been improved, and miscellaneous
       bugs fixed.

   Byte-order modifiers for pack() and unpack()
       There are two new byte-order modifiers, ">" (big-endian) and "<" (little-endian), that can be appended to most
       pack() and unpack() template characters and groups to force a certain byte-order for that type or group.  See
       "pack" in perlfunc and perlpacktut for details.

   "no VERSION"
       You can now use "no" followed by a version number to specify that you want to use a version of perl older than
       the specified one.

   "chdir", "chmod" and "chown" on filehandles
       "chdir", "chmod" and "chown" can now work on filehandles as well as filenames, if the system supports
       respectively "fchdir", "fchmod" and "fchown", thanks to a patch provided by Gisle Aas.

   OS groups
       $( and $) now return groups in the order where the OS returns them, thanks to Gisle Aas. This wasn't previously
       the case.

   Recursive sort subs
       You can now use recursive subroutines with sort(), thanks to Robin Houston.

   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.
       Without this change, programs would not compile if they had expressions that happened to generate exceptions,
       even though those expressions were in code that could never be reached at runtime. (Nicholas Clark, Dave

   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)

   New internal variables
           This variable controls what debug flags are in effect for the regular expression engine when running under
           "use re "debug"". See re for details.

           This variable gives the native status returned by the last pipe close, backtick command, successful call to
           wait() or waitpid(), or from the system() operator. See perlvar for details. (Contributed by Gisle Aas.)

           See "Trie optimisation of literal string alternations".

           See "Sloppy stat on Windows".

       "unpack()" now defaults to unpacking the $_ variable.

       "mkdir()" without arguments now defaults to $_.

       The internal dump output has been improved, so that non-printable characters such as newline and backspace are
       output in "\x" notation, rather than octal.

       The -C option can no longer be used on the "#!" line. It wasn't working there anyway, since the standard
       streams are already set up at this point in the execution of the perl interpreter. You can use binmode()
       instead to get the desired behaviour.

   UCD 5.0.0
       The copy of the Unicode Character Database included in Perl 5 has been updated to version 5.0.0.

       MAD, which stands for Miscellaneous 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 5.10, and has space and speed penalties; moreover not all
       regression tests still pass with it. (Larry Wall, Nicholas Clark)

   kill() on Windows
       On Windows platforms, "kill(-9, $pid)" now kills a process tree.  (On UNIX, this delivers the signal to all
       processes in the same process group.)

Incompatible Changes
   Packing and UTF-8 strings
       The semantics of pack() and unpack() regarding UTF-8-encoded data has been changed. Processing is now by
       default character per character instead of byte per byte on the underlying encoding. Notably, code that used
       things like "pack("a*", $string)" to see through the encoding of string will now simply get back the original
       $string. Packed strings can also get upgraded during processing when you store upgraded characters. You can get
       the old behaviour by using "use bytes".

       To be consistent with pack(), the "C0" in unpack() templates indicates that the data is to be processed in
       character mode, i.e. character by character; on the contrary, "U0" in unpack() indicates UTF-8 mode, where the
       packed string is processed in its UTF-8-encoded Unicode form on a byte by byte basis. This is reversed with
       regard to perl 5.8.X, but now consistent between pack() and unpack().

       Moreover, "C0" and "U0" can also be used in pack() templates to specify respectively character and byte modes.

       "C0" and "U0" in the middle of a pack or unpack format now switch to the specified encoding mode, honoring
       parens grouping. Previously, parens were ignored.

       Also, there is a new pack() character format, "W", which is intended to replace the old "C". "C" is kept for
       unsigned chars coded as bytes in the strings internal representation. "W" represents unsigned (logical)
       character values, which can be greater than 255. It is therefore more robust when dealing with potentially
       UTF-8-encoded data (as "C" will wrap values outside the range 0..255, and not respect the string encoding).

       In practice, that means that pack formats are now encoding-neutral, except "C".

       For consistency, "A" in unpack() format now trims all Unicode whitespace from the end of the string. Before
       perl 5.9.2, it used to strip only the classical ASCII space characters.

   Byte/character count feature in unpack()
       A new unpack() template character, ".", returns the number of bytes or characters (depending on the selected
       encoding mode, see above) read so far.

   The $* and $# variables have been removed
       $*, which was deprecated in favor of the "/s" and "/m" regexp modifiers, has been removed.

       The deprecated $# variable (output format for numbers) has been removed.

       Two new severe warnings, "$#/$* is no longer supported", have been added.

   substr() lvalues are no longer fixed-length
       The lvalues returned by the three argument form of substr() used to be a "fixed length window" on the original
       string. In some cases this could cause surprising action at distance or other undefined behaviour. Now the
       length of the window adjusts itself to the length of the string assigned to it.

   Parsing of "-f _"
       The identifier "_" is now forced to be a bareword after a filetest operator. This solves a number of misparsing
       issues when a global "_" subroutine is defined.

       The ":unique" attribute has been made a no-op, since its current implementation was fundamentally flawed and
       not threadsafe.

   Effect of pragmas in eval
       The compile-time value of the "%^H" hint variable can now propagate into eval("")uated code. This makes it more
       useful to implement lexical pragmas.

       As a side-effect of this, the overloaded-ness of constants now propagates into eval("").

   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 extension.

       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.

   $^V is now a "version" object instead of a v-string
       $^V can still be used with the %vd format in printf, but any character-level operations will now access the
       string representation of the "version" object and not the ordinals of a v-string.  Expressions like
       "substr($^V, 0, 2)" or "split //, $^V" no longer work and must be rewritten.

   @- 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)

   Tainting and printf
       When perl is run under taint mode, "printf()" and "sprintf()" will now reject any tainted format argument.
       (Rafael Garcia-Suarez)

   undef and signal handlers
       Undefining or deleting a signal handler via "undef $SIG{FOO}" is now equivalent to setting it to 'DEFAULT'.
       (Rafael Garcia-Suarez)

   strictures and dereferencing in defined()
       "use strict 'refs'" was ignoring taking a hard reference in an argument to defined(), as in :

           use strict 'refs';
           my $x = 'foo';
           if (defined $$x) {...}

       This now correctly produces the run-time error "Can't use string as a SCALAR ref while "strict refs" in use".

       "defined @$foo" and "defined %$bar" are now also subject to "strict 'refs'" (that is, $foo and $bar shall be
       proper references there.)  ("defined(@foo)" and "defined(%bar)" are discouraged constructs anyway.)  (Nicholas

   "(?p{})" has been removed
       The regular expression construct "(?p{})", which was deprecated in perl 5.8, has been removed. Use "(??{})"
       instead. (Rafael Garcia-Suarez)

   Pseudo-hashes have been removed
       Support for pseudo-hashes has been removed from Perl 5.9. (The "fields" pragma remains here, but uses an
       alternate implementation.)

   Removal of the bytecode compiler and of perlcc
       "perlcc", the byteloader and the supporting modules (B::C, B::CC, B::Bytecode, etc.) are no longer distributed
       with the perl sources. Those experimental tools have never worked reliably, and, due to the lack of volunteers
       to keep them in line with the perl interpreter developments, it was decided to remove them instead of shipping
       a broken version of those.  The last version of those modules can be found with perl 5.9.4.

       However the B compiler framework stays supported in the perl core, as with the more useful modules it has
       permitted (among others, B::Deparse and B::Concise).

   Removal of the JPL
       The JPL (Java-Perl Lingo) has been removed from the perl sources tarball.

   Recursive inheritance detected earlier
       Perl will now immediately throw an exception if you modify any package's @ISA in such a way that it would cause
       recursive inheritance.

       Previously, the exception would not occur until Perl attempted to make use of the recursive inheritance while
       resolving a method or doing a "$foo->isa($bar)" lookup.

Modules and Pragmata
   Upgrading individual core modules
       Even more core modules are now also available separately through the CPAN.  If you wish to update one of these
       modules, you don't need to wait for a new perl release.  From within the cpan shell, running the 'r' command
       will report on modules with upgrades available.  See "perldoc CPAN" for more information.

   Pragmata Changes
           The new pragma "feature" is used to enable new features that might break old code. See "The "feature"
           pragma" above.

           This new pragma enables to change the algorithm used to resolve inherited methods. See "New Pragma, "mro""

       Scoping of the "sort" pragma
           The "sort" pragma is now lexically scoped. Its effect used to be global.

       Scoping of "bignum", "bigint", "bigrat"
           The three numeric pragmas "bignum", "bigint" and "bigrat" are now lexically scoped. (Tels)

           The "base" pragma now warns if a class tries to inherit from itself.  (Curtis "Ovid" Poe)

       "strict" and "warnings"
           "strict" and "warnings" will now complain loudly if they are loaded via incorrect casing (as in "use
           Strict;"). (Johan Vromans)

           The "version" module provides support for version objects.

           The "warnings" pragma doesn't load "Carp" anymore. That means that code that used "Carp" routines without
           having loaded it at compile time might need to be adjusted; typically, the following (faulty) code won't
           work anymore, and will require parentheses to be added after the function name:

               use warnings;
               require Carp;
               Carp::confess 'argh';

           "less" now does something useful (or at least it tries to). In fact, it has been turned into a lexical
           pragma. So, in your modules, you can now test whether your users have requested to use less CPU, or less
           memory, less magic, or maybe even less fat. See less for more. (Joshua ben Jore)

   New modules
       ?   "encoding::warnings", by Audrey Tang, is a module to emit warnings whenever an ASCII character string
           containing high-bit bytes is implicitly converted into UTF-8. It's a lexical pragma since Perl 5.9.4; on
           older perls, its effect is global.

       ?   "Module::CoreList", by Richard Clamp, is a small handy module that tells you what versions of core modules
           ship with any versions of Perl 5. It comes with a command-line frontend, "corelist".

       ?   "Math::BigInt::FastCalc" is an XS-enabled, and thus faster, version of "Math::BigInt::Calc".

       ?   "Compress::Zlib" is an interface to the zlib compression library. It comes with a bundled version of zlib,
           so having a working zlib is not a prerequisite to install it. It's used by "Archive::Tar" (see below).

       ?   "IO::Zlib" is an "IO::"-style interface to "Compress::Zlib".

       ?   "Archive::Tar" is a module to manipulate "tar" archives.

       ?   "Digest::SHA" is a module used to calculate many types of SHA digests, has been included for SHA support in
           the CPAN module.

       ?   "ExtUtils::CBuilder" and "ExtUtils::ParseXS" have been added.

       ?   "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 objects.

       ?   "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

       ?   "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.

       ?   "Locale::Maketext::Simple", needed by CPANPLUS, is a simple wrapper around "Locale::Maketext::Lexicon".
           Note that "Locale::Maketext::Lexicon" isn't included in the perl core; the behaviour of
           "Locale::Maketext::Simple" gracefully degrades when the later isn't present.

       ?   "Params::Check" implements a generic input parsing/checking mechanism. It is used by CPANPLUS.

       ?   "Term::UI" simplifies the task to ask questions at a terminal prompt.

       ?   "Object::Accessor" provides an interface to create per-object accessors.

       ?   "Module::Pluggable" is a simple framework to create modules that accept pluggable sub-modules.

       ?   "Module::Load::Conditional" provides simple ways to query and possibly load installed modules.

       ?   "Time::Piece" provides an object oriented interface to time functions, overriding the built-ins localtime()
           and gmtime().

       ?   "IPC::Cmd" helps to find and run external commands, possibly interactively.

       ?   "File::Fetch" provide a simple generic file fetching mechanism.

       ?   "Log::Message" and "Log::Message::Simple" are used by the log facility of "CPANPLUS".

       ?   "Archive::Extract" is a generic archive extraction mechanism for .tar (plain, gziped or bzipped) or .zip

       ?   "CPANPLUS" provides an API and a command-line tool to access the CPAN mirrors.

       ?   "Pod::Escapes" provides utilities that are useful in decoding Pod E<...> sequences.

       ?   "Pod::Simple" is now the backend for several of the Pod-related modules included with Perl.

   Selected Changes to Core Modules
           "Attribute::Handlers" can now report the caller's file and line number.  (David Feldman)

           All interpreted attributes are now passed as array references. (Damian Conway)

           "B::Lint" is now based on "Module::Pluggable", and so can be extended with plugins. (Joshua ben Jore)

       "B" It's now possible to access the lexical pragma hints ("%^H") by using the method B::COP::hints_hash(). It
           returns a "B::RHE" object, which in turn can be used to get a hash reference via the method B::RHE::HASH().
           (Joshua ben Jore)

           As the old 5005thread threading model has been removed, in favor of the ithreads scheme, the "Thread"
           module is now a compatibility wrapper, to be used in old code only. It has been removed from the default
           list of dynamic extensions.

Utility Changes
       perl -d
           The Perl debugger can now save all debugger commands for sourcing later; notably, it can now emulate
           stepping backwards, by restarting and rerunning all bar the last command from a saved command history.

           It can also display the parent inheritance tree of a given class, with the "i" command.

           "ptar" is a pure perl implementation of "tar" that comes with "Archive::Tar".

           "ptardiff" is a small utility used to generate a diff between the contents of a tar archive and a directory
           tree. Like "ptar", it comes with "Archive::Tar".

           "shasum" is a command-line utility, used to print or to check SHA digests. It comes with the new
           "Digest::SHA" module.

           The "corelist" utility is now installed with perl (see "New modules" above).

       h2ph and h2xs
           "h2ph" and "h2xs" have been made more robust with regard to "modern" C code.

           "h2xs" implements a new option "--use-xsloader" to force use of "XSLoader" even in backwards compatible

           The handling of authors' names that had apostrophes has been fixed.

           Any enums with negative values are now skipped.

           "perlivp" no longer checks for *.ph files by default.  Use the new "-a" option to run all tests.

           "find2perl" now assumes "-print" as a default action. Previously, it needed to be specified explicitly.

           Several bugs have been fixed in "find2perl", regarding "-exec" and "-eval". Also the options "-path",
           "-ipath" and "-iname" have been added.

           "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.)

           "cpanp", the CPANPLUS shell, has been added. ("cpanp-run-perl", a helper for CPANPLUS operation, has been
           added too, but isn't intended for direct use).

           "cpan2dist" is a new utility that comes with CPANPLUS. It's a tool to create distributions (or packages)
           from CPAN modules.

           The output of "pod2html" has been enhanced to be more customizable via CSS. Some formatting problems were
           also corrected. (Jari Aalto)

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

       The new perlglossary manpage is a glossary of terms used in the Perl documentation, technical and otherwise,
       kindly provided by O'Reilly Media, Inc.

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

       The perlreapi manpage describes the interface to the perl interpreter used to write pluggable regular
       expression engines (by var Arnfjoer` Bjarmason).

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

       A new manual page, perlunifaq (the Perl Unicode FAQ), has been added (Juerd Waalboer).

       The perlcommunity manpage gives a description of the Perl community on the Internet and in real life. (Edgar
       "Trizor" Bering)

       The CORE manual page documents the "CORE::" namespace. (Tels)

       The long-existing feature of "/(?{...})/" regexps setting $_ and pos() is now documented.

Performance Enhancements
   In-place sorting
       Sorting arrays in place ("@a = sort @a") is now optimized to avoid making a temporary copy of the array.

       Likewise, "reverse sort ..." is now optimized to sort in reverse, avoiding the generation of a temporary
       intermediate list.

   Lexical array access
       Access to elements of lexical arrays via a numeric constant between 0 and 255 is now faster. (This used to be
       only the case for global arrays.)

   XS-assisted SWASHGET
       Some pure-perl code that perl was using to retrieve Unicode properties and transliteration mappings has been
       reimplemented in XS.

   Constant subroutines
       The interpreter internals now support a far more memory efficient form of inlineable constants. Storing a
       reference to a constant value in a symbol table is equivalent to a full typeglob referencing a constant
       subroutine, but using about 400 bytes less memory. This proxy constant subroutine is automatically upgraded to
       a real typeglob with subroutine if necessary.  The approach taken is analogous to the existing space
       optimisation for subroutine stub declarations, which are stored as plain scalars in place of the full typeglob.

       Several of the core modules have been converted to use this feature for their system dependent constants - as a
       result "use POSIX;" now takes about 200K less memory.

       The new compilation flag "PERL_DONT_CREATE_GVSV", introduced as an option in perl 5.8.8, is turned on by
       default in perl 5.9.3. It prevents perl from creating an empty scalar with every new typeglob. See perl589delta
       for details.

   Weak references are cheaper
       Weak reference creation is now O(1) rather than O(n), courtesy of Nicholas Clark. Weak reference deletion
       remains O(n), but if deletion only happens at program exit, it may be skipped completely.

   sort() enhancements
       Salvador Fandin~o provided improvements to reduce the memory usage of "sort" and to speed up some cases.

   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)

   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)

   Regular expressions optimisations
       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.  A new special variable,
           ${^RE_TRIE_MAXBUF}, has been added to fine-tune this optimization. (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.

       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)

Installation and Configuration Improvements
   Configuration improvements
           Run-time customization of @INC can be enabled by passing the "-Dusesitecustomize" flag to Configure. When
           enabled, this will make perl run $sitelibexp/ before anything else.  This script can then
           be set up to add additional entries to @INC.

       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.

       strlcat() and strlcpy()
           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)

       "d_pseudofork" and "d_printf_format_null"
           A new configuration variable, available as $Config{d_pseudofork} in the Config module, has been added, to
           distinguish real fork() support from fake pseudofork used on Windows platforms.

           A new configuration variable, "d_printf_format_null", has been added, to see if printf-like formats are
           allowed to be NULL.

       Configure help
           "Configure -h" has been extended with the most commonly used options.

   Compilation improvements
       Parallel build
           Parallel makes should work properly now, although there may still be problems if "make test" is instructed
           to run in parallel.

       Borland's compilers support
           Building with Borland's compilers on Win32 should work more smoothly. In particular Steve Hay has worked to
           side step many warnings emitted by their compilers and at least one C compiler internal error.

       Static build on Windows
           Perl extensions on Windows now can be statically built into the Perl DLL.

           Also, it's now possible to build a "perl-static.exe" that doesn't depend on the Perl DLL on Win32. See the
           Win32 makefiles for details.  (Vadim Konovalov)

       ppport.h files
           All ppport.h files in the XS modules bundled with perl are now autogenerated at build time. (Marcus

       C++ compatibility
           Efforts have been made to make perl and the core XS modules compilable with various C++ compilers (although
           the situation is not perfect with some of the compilers on some of the platforms tested.)

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

       Visual C++
           Perl can now be compiled with Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 (and 2008 Beta 2).

       Win32 builds
           All win32 builds (MS-Win, WinCE) have been merged and cleaned up.

   Installation improvements
       Module auxiliary files
           README files and changelogs for CPAN modules bundled with perl are no longer installed.

   New Or Improved Platforms
       Perl has been reported to work on Symbian OS. See perlsymbian for more information.

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

       Perl has been reported to work on DragonFlyBSD and MidnightBSD.

       Perl has also been reported to work on NexentaOS ( ).

       The VMS port has been improved. See perlvms.

       Support for Cray XT4 Catamount/Qk has been added. See hints/ in the source code distribution for
       more information.

       Vendor patches have been merged for RedHat and Gentoo.

       DynaLoader::dl_unload_file() now works on Windows.

Selected Bug Fixes
       strictures in regexp-eval blocks
           "strict" wasn't in effect in regexp-eval blocks ("/(?{...})/").

       Calling CORE::require()
           CORE::require() and CORE::do() were always parsed as require() and do() when they were overridden. This is
           now fixed.

       Subscripts of slices
           You can now use a non-arrowed form for chained subscripts after a list slice, like in:

               ({foo => "bar"})[0]{foo}

           This used to be a syntax error; a "->" was required.

       "no warnings 'category'" works correctly with -w
           Previously when running with warnings enabled globally via "-w", selective disabling of specific warning
           categories would actually turn off all warnings.  This is now fixed; now "no warnings 'io';" will only turn
           off warnings in the "io" class. Previously it would erroneously turn off all warnings.

       threads improvements
           Several memory leaks in ithreads were closed. Also, ithreads were made less memory-intensive.

           "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

           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)

       chr() and negative values
           chr() on a negative value now gives "\x{FFFD}", the Unicode replacement character, unless when the "bytes"
           pragma is in effect, where the low eight bits of the value are used.

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

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

       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)

           The "PERLIO_DEBUG" environment variable no longer has any effect for setuid scripts and for scripts run
           with -T.

           Moreover, with a thread-enabled perl, using "PERLIO_DEBUG" could lead to an internal buffer overflow. This
           has been fixed.

       PerlIO::scalar and read-only scalars
           PerlIO::scalar will now prevent writing to read-only scalars. Moreover, seek() is now supported with
           PerlIO::scalar-based filehandles, the underlying string being zero-filled as needed. (Rafael, Jarkko

       study() and UTF-8
           study() never worked for UTF-8 strings, but could lead to false results.  It's now a no-op on UTF-8 data.
           (Yves Orton)

       Critical signals
           The signals SIGILL, SIGBUS and SIGSEGV are now always delivered in an "unsafe" manner (contrary to other
           signals, that are deferred until the perl interpreter reaches a reasonably stable state; see "Deferred
           Signals (Safe Signals)" in perlipc). (Rafael)

       @INC-hook fix
           When a module or a file is loaded through an @INC-hook, and when this hook has set a filename entry in
           %INC, __FILE__ is now set for this module accordingly to the contents of that %INC entry. (Rafael)

       "-t" switch fix
           The "-w" and "-t" switches can now be used together without messing up which categories of warnings are
           activated. (Rafael)

       Duping UTF-8 filehandles
           Duping a filehandle which has the ":utf8" PerlIO layer set will now properly carry that layer on the duped
           filehandle. (Rafael)

       Localisation of hash elements
           Localizing a hash element whose key was given as a variable didn't work correctly if the variable was
           changed while the local() was in effect (as in "local $h{$x}; ++$x"). (Bo Lindbergh)

New or Changed Diagnostics
       Use of uninitialized value
           Perl will now try to tell you the name of the variable (if any) that was undefined.

       Deprecated use of my() in false conditional
           A new deprecation warning, Deprecated use of my() in false conditional, has been added, to warn against the
           use of the dubious and deprecated construct

               my $x if 0;

           See perldiag. Use "state" variables instead.

       !=~ should be !~
           A new warning, "!=~ should be !~", is emitted to prevent this misspelling of the non-matching operator.

       Newline in left-justified string
           The warning Newline in left-justified string has been removed.

       Too late for "-T" option
           The error Too late for "-T" option has been reformulated to be more descriptive.

       "%s" variable %s masks earlier declaration
           This warning is now emitted in more consistent cases; in short, when one of the declarations involved is a
           "my" variable:

               my $x;   my $x;     # warns
               my $x;  our $x;     # warns
               our $x;  my $x;     # warns

           On the other hand, the following:

               our $x; our $x;

           now gives a ""our" variable %s redeclared" warning.

       readdir()/closedir()/etc. attempted on invalid dirhandle
           These new warnings are now emitted when a dirhandle is used but is either closed or not really a dirhandle.

       Opening dirhandle/filehandle %s also as a file/directory
           Two deprecation warnings have been added: (Rafael)

               Opening dirhandle %s also as a file
               Opening filehandle %s also as a directory

       Use of -P is deprecated
           Perl's command-line switch "-P" is now deprecated.

       v-string in use/require is non-portable
           Perl will warn you against potential backwards compatibility problems with the "use VERSION" syntax.

       perl -V
           "perl -V" has several improvements, making it more useable from shell scripts to get the value of
           configuration variables. See perlrun for details.

Changed Internals
       In general, the source code of perl has been refactored, tidied up, and optimized in many places. Also, memory
       management and allocation has been improved in several points.

       When compiling the perl core with gcc, as many gcc warning flags are turned on as is possible on the platform.
       (This quest for cleanliness doesn't extend to XS code because we cannot guarantee the tidiness of code we
       didn't write.)  Similar strictness flags have been added or tightened for various other C compilers.

   Reordering of SVt_* constants
       The relative ordering of constants that define the various types of "SV" have changed; in particular,
       "SVt_PVGV" has been moved before "SVt_PVLV", "SVt_PVAV", "SVt_PVHV" and "SVt_PVCV".  This is unlikely to make
       any difference unless you have code that explicitly makes assumptions about that ordering. (The inheritance
       hierarchy of "B::*" objects has been changed to reflect this.)

   Elimination of SVt_PVBM
       Related to this, the internal type "SVt_PVBM" has been been removed. This dedicated type of "SV" was used by
       the "index" operator and parts of the regexp engine to facilitate fast Boyer-Moore matches. Its use internally
       has been replaced by "SV"s of type "SVt_PVGV".

   New type SVt_BIND
       A new type "SVt_BIND" has been added, in readiness for the project to implement Perl 6 on 5. There deliberately
       is no implementation yet, and they cannot yet be created or destroyed.

   Removal of CPP symbols
       The C preprocessor symbols "PERL_PM_APIVERSION" and "PERL_XS_APIVERSION", which were supposed to give the
       version number of the oldest perl binary-compatible (resp. source-compatible) with the present one, were not
       used, and sometimes had misleading values. They have been removed.

   Less space is used by ops
       The "BASEOP" structure now uses less space. The "op_seq" field has been removed and replaced by a single bit
       bit-field "op_opt". "op_type" is now 9 bits long. (Consequently, the "B::OP" class doesn't provide an "seq"
       method anymore.)

   New parser
       perl's parser is now generated by bison (it used to be generated by byacc.) As a result, it seems to be a bit
       more robust.

       Also, Dave Mitchell improved the lexer debugging output under "-DT".

   Use of "const"
       Andy Lester supplied many improvements to determine which function parameters and local variables could
       actually be declared "const" to the C compiler. Steve Peters provided new *_set macros and reworked the core to
       use these rather than assigning to macros in LVALUE context.

       A new file, mathoms.c, has been added. It contains functions that are no longer used in the perl core, but that
       remain available for binary or source compatibility reasons. However, those functions will not be compiled in
       if you add "-DNO_MATHOMS" in the compiler flags.

   "AvFLAGS" has been removed
       The "AvFLAGS" macro has been removed.

   "av_*" changes
       The "av_*()" functions, used to manipulate arrays, no longer accept null "AV*" parameters.

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

   B:: modules inheritance changed
       The inheritance hierarchy of "B::" modules has changed; "B::NV" now inherits from "B::SV" (it used to inherit
       from "B::IV").

   Anonymous hash and array constructors
       The anonymous hash and array constructors now take 1 op in the optree instead of 3, now that pp_anonhash and
       pp_anonlist return a reference to an hash/array when the op is flagged with OPf_SPECIAL. (Nicholas Clark)

Known Problems
       There's still a remaining problem in the implementation of the lexical $_: it doesn't work inside "/(?{...})/"
       blocks. (See the TODO test in t/op/mydef.t.)

       Stacked filetest operators won't work when the "filetest" pragma is in effect, because they rely on the stat()
       buffer "_" being populated, and filetest bypasses stat().

   UTF-8 problems
       The handling of Unicode still is unclean in several places, where it's dependent on whether a string is
       internally flagged as UTF-8. This will be made more consistent in perl 5.12, but that won't be possible without
       a certain amount of backwards incompatibility.

Platform Specific Problems
       When compiled with g++ and thread support on Linux, it's reported that the $! stops working correctly. This is
       related to the fact that the glibc provides two strerror_r(3) implementation, and perl selects the wrong one.

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 and the perl590delta to perl595delta man pages 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.

perl v5.10.1                      2009-08-11                  PERL5100DELTA(1)