Parrot 1.8.0 "Zygodactyly" Released!

On behalf of the Parrot team, I'm proud to announce Parrot 1.8.0 "Zygodactyly".
Parrot is a virtual machine aimed at running dynamic languages.

Parrot 1.8.0 is available on
Parrot's FTP site, or follow the download instructions.

For those who would like to develop on Parrot, or help
develop Parrot itself, we recommend using Subversion on our source code repository to get the latest and best Parrot code.

Parrot 1.8.0 News:

- Functionality
  + The FileHandle PMC now exposes the exit code of child process that was run as pipe.
  + Experimental support for overriding VTABLE invoke in PIR objects was added.
  + The method 'type' was added to the PackfileAnnotations PMC.
  + The internals of the parrot calling conventions, PCC, were reworked.
    All call paths now use a CallSignature object for passing arguments and return values.
  + The new API-function  'Parrot_ext_call' was added for calling into C-land.
  + The fixed-size allocator was improved.
  + The files installed by 'make install-dev' are now covered by 'make install' as well.
  + The experimental ops 'fetch' and 'vivify' were added.
  + The -I option to the command 'parrot' now prepends items to the search path.
  + The Context struct was substituted with auto attributes (context_auto_attrs branch).
  + Use the osname determined in auto::arch in subsequent configuration steps (convert_OSNAME branch).
  + Eliminated dependence on Perl 5 '%Config' in auto::format (auto_format_no_Config branch).
  + MultiSub PMCs now stringify to the name of their first candidate,
    instead of the number of candidates.
  + The platform detection at the start of the configuration process was improved.
  + The 'lineof' method on CodeString objects now precomputes line number information
    to be more efficient on variable-width encoded strings.
  + P6object now supports .WHO and .WHERE methods on protoobjects.
- Compilers
  + A shiny new self-hosting implementation of NQP has been added in ext/nqp-rx.
    - New NQP available as nqp-rx.pbc or parrot-nqp fakecutable.
    - NQP includes direct support for grammars and regexes, including protoregexes.
    - NQP has a new PAST-based regex engine (intended to replace PGE).
    - Regexes may contain code assertions, parameters, lexical declarations, and more.
    - Double-quoted strings now interpolate scalar variables and closures.
    - Subroutine declarations are now lexical by default.
  + PCT
    - PAST::Block now supports an 'nsentry' attribute.
    - PAST::Var allows 'contextual' scope.
    - Attribute bindings now return the bound value.
- Platforms
  + Fixes for the port of Parrot to RTEMS were applied. Yay, first port to a real time OS!
  + On NetBSD, shared libs are now used.
- Performance
  + Use the the fixed-sized allocator in the Context and the CallSignature PMC.
  + Many small speed improvements.
- New deprecations
  + MT19937, the Mersenne twisted pseudorandom number generator, is now hosted on github and 
    will be removed from the Parrot core. (eligible in 2.1)
  + The 'Parrot_call_*' functions for invoking a sub/method object from C are
    deprecated. They are replaced by 'Parrot_ext_call'. (eligible in 2.1)
  + All bitwise VTABLE functions are deprecated. (eligible in 2.1)
  + All bitwise ops will become dynops. (eligible in 2.1)
- Realized deprecations
  + The slice VTABLE entry was removed.
  + The last traces of the 'malloc' garbage collector were removed.
  + Parrot_pcc_constants() was renamed to Parrot_pcc_get_constants().
  + The deprecated functions from the Embedding/Extension interface were removed.
  + The library YAML/Parser/Syck.pir was removed.
  + The VTABLE function instantiate_str() was removed.
  + Building of parrot_nqp was removed.
- Tests
  + The test coverage of the time-related ops was much improved.
  + New testing functions in Test::More: lives_ok() and dies_ok().
  + The Perl 5 based test scripts t/op/bitwist.t, t/op/comp.t, t/op/inf_nan.t,
    t/op/literal.t, t/op/number.t, t/op/sprintf2.t, and t/op/00ff-dos.t were converted to PIR.
  + The test scripts t/op/annotate.t and t/op/time.t have begun
    to be translated from Perl 5 to PIR.
  + In some tests the dependency on %Config from Perl 5 was eliminated.
- Documentation
  + The meaning of 'p' means in NCI function call signatures was clarified.
- Tools
  + The stub for a new language, as created by,
    now relies on the PIR-based tools, which are replacing the Perl 5-based tools.
  + The library Configure.pir was added.
  + The library distutils.pir was added.
- Miscellaneous
  + The mailing list parrot-users and a corresponding google group was created,
  + Many bugfixes, code cleanups, and coding standard fixes.

Thanks to all our contributors for making this possible, and our sponsors
for supporting this project. Our next release is December 15th 2009.