Perl 5.12 is going live this week. So, it looks like it's going to be a long wait for Perl 6.0. It almost makes the recent article on that ranted about the arduous, four year release cycle, seem like we're all crying over spilled milk.


ActiveState, the dynamic languages company, today announced the launch of business and community editions of ActivePerl 5.12, just days after the release of Perl 5.12 by the Perl Foundation.


"Perl is a fantastic tool for everything from the smallest systems administration tasks to the largest web applications,” said Jesse Vincent, Perl 5 Pumpking and President of Best Practical Solutions. “Over the past few decades, it's been ported to more platforms than just about any other language implementation. Perl 5.12 builds on that legacy, adding new features and fixing hundreds of bugs.”


“The perl5-porters, an international group of some of the most talented and dedicated volunteer software developers in the world have done fantastic work over the past two years to create Perl 5.12,” continued Vincent. “I'm humbled and privileged to be able to work with them and look forward to collaborating with them to release Perl 5.14 next year.”


“We see a continued interest in all dynamic languages and this is true of Perl. Some of ActiveState’s largest enterprise customers are heavy ActivePerl users, whether for mission-critical systems, or system administration tasks,” said Jeff Hobbs, Director of Engineering at ActiveState. “With the release of 5.12, ActiveState, as well as the Perl developer community, is showing continued commitment to the development and adoption of Perl as a critical enterprise-grade dynamic language.”


The Perl community proactively continues to contribute to the popular programming
language, helping it maintain its status as a leading dynamic language option
for enterprise developers. Several notable updates in ActivePerl 5.12


·      Perl’s time functions work beyond the year 2038: With previous versions of Perl for 32-bit Unix systems, it could only represent dates up to the year 2038, after which it wraps around back to 1970. It is especially important for financial services organizations that use Perl for applications such as mortgage and insurance contracts that run for 30 years or longer. This has been updated within the internal functions of 32-bit Perl 5.12


·      Improved Unicode support: Perl now supports all Unicode properties for developers doing globalization work in multiple languages. It includes all the synonyms, loose spelling rules for property names and values, and other areas that have been brought in sync with the corresponding Unicode specification.


·      Support for pluggable keywords: Extension modules can now cleanly hook into the Perl parser to define new kinds of keyword-headed expressions and compound statements. The syntax following the keyword is defined entirely by the extension. This feature facilitates the development of domain specific languages (DSLs) within Perl by allowing a completely non-Perl sub-language to be parsed inline, with the correct ops cleanly generated. This feature is experimental and may be removed.


ActivePerl is the industry-standard, commercial-grade Perl distribution used by millions of developers around the world for easy Perl installation and quality-assured code.

(From Bret Clement...Thanks)