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perl587delta (1)


perl587delta - what is new for perl v5.8.7


Please see following description for synopsis


Perl Programmers Reference Guide                  PERL587DELTA(1)

     perl587delta - what is new for perl v5.8.7

     This document describes differences between the 5.8.6
     release and the 5.8.7 release.

Incompatible Changes
     There are no changes incompatible with 5.8.6.

Core Enhancements
  Unicode Character Database 4.1.0
     The copy of the Unicode Character Database included in Perl
     5.8 has been updated to 4.1.0 from 4.0.1. See
     for the notable changes.

  suidperl less insecure
     A pair of exploits in "suidperl" involving debugging code
     have been closed.

     For new projects the core perl team strongly recommends that
     you use dedicated, single purpose security tools such as
     "sudo" in preference to "suidperl".

  Optional site customization script
     The perl interpreter can be built to allow the use of a site
     customization script. By default this is not enabled, to be
     consistent with previous perl releases. To use this, add
     "-Dusesitecustomize" to the command line flags when running
     the "Configure" script. See also "-f" in perlrun.

  "" is now much smaller.
     "" is now about 3K rather than 32K, with the
     infrequently used code and %Config values loaded on demand.
     This is transparent to the programmer, but means that most
     code will save parsing and loading 29K of script (for
     example, code that uses "File::Find").

Modules and Pragmata
     o   B upgraded to version 1.09

     o   base upgraded to version 2.07

     o   bignum upgraded to version 0.17

     o   bytes upgraded to version 1.02

     o   Carp upgraded to version 1.04

     o   CGI upgraded to version 3.10

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     o   Class::ISA upgraded to version 0.33

     o   Data::Dumper upgraded to version 2.121_02

     o   DB_File upgraded to version 1.811

     o   Devel::PPPort upgraded to version 3.06

     o   Digest upgraded to version 1.10

     o   Encode upgraded to version 2.10

     o   FileCache upgraded to version 1.05

     o   File::Path upgraded to version 1.07

     o   File::Temp upgraded to version 0.16

     o   IO::File upgraded to version 1.11

     o   IO::Socket upgraded to version 1.28

     o   Math::BigInt upgraded to version 1.77

     o   Math::BigRat upgraded to version 0.15

     o   overload upgraded to version 1.03

     o   PathTools upgraded to version 3.05

     o   Pod::HTML upgraded to version 1.0503

     o   Pod::Perldoc upgraded to version 3.14

     o   Pod::LaTeX upgraded to version 0.58

     o   Pod::Parser upgraded to version 1.30

     o   Symbol upgraded to version 1.06

     o   Term::ANSIColor upgraded to version 1.09

     o   Test::Harness upgraded to version 2.48

     o   Test::Simple upgraded to version 0.54

     o   Text::Wrap upgraded to version 2001.09293, to fix a bug
         when wrap() was called with a non-space separator.

     o   threads::shared upgraded to version 0.93

     o   Time::HiRes upgraded to version 1.66

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     o   Time::Local upgraded to version 1.11

     o   Unicode::Normalize upgraded to version 0.32

     o   utf8 upgraded to version 1.05

     o   Win32 upgraded to version 0.24, which provides

Utility Changes
  find2perl enhancements
     "find2perl" has new options "-iname", "-path" and "-ipath".

Performance Enhancements
     The internal pointer mapping hash used during ithreads
     cloning now uses an arena for memory allocation. In tests
     this reduced ithreads cloning time by about 10%.

Installation and Configuration Improvements
     o   The Win32 "dmake" has been updated to make
         it compatible with the latest versions of dmake.

         and "NO_HASH_SEED" should now work in Win32 makefiles.

Selected Bug Fixes
     o   The socket() function on Win32 has been fixed so that it
         is able to use transport providers which specify a
         protocol of 0 (meaning any protocol is allowed) once
         more.  (This was broken in 5.8.6, and typically caused
         the use of ICMP sockets to fail.)

     o   Another obscure bug involving "substr" and UTF-8 caused
         by bad internal offset caching has been identified and

     o   A bug involving the loading of UTF-8 tables by the
         regexp engine has been fixed - code such as ""\x{100}"
         =~ /[[:print:]]/" will no longer give corrupt results.

     o   Case conversion operations such as "uc" on a long
         Unicode string could exhaust memory. This has been

     o   "index"/"rindex" were buggy for some combinations of
         Unicode and non-Unicode data. This has been fixed.

     o   "read" (and presumably "sysread") would expose the UTF-8
         internals when reading from a byte oriented file handle
         into a UTF-8 scalar. This has been fixed.

     o   Several "pack"/"unpack" bug fixes:

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         o   Checksums with "b" or "B" formats were broken.

         o   "unpack" checksums could overflow with the "C"

         o   "U0" and "C0" are now scoped to "()" "pack" sub-

         o   Counted length prefixes now don't change "C0"/"U0"

         o   "pack" "Z0" used to destroy the preceding character.

         o   "P"/"p" "pack" formats used to only recognise
             literal "undef"

     o   Using closures with ithreads could cause perl to crash.
         This was due to failure to correctly lock internal OP
         structures, and has been fixed.

     o   The return value of "close" now correctly reflects any
         file errors that occur while flushing the handle's data,
         instead of just giving failure if the actual underlying
         file close operation failed.

     o   "not() || 1" used to segfault. "not()" now behaves like
         not(0), which was the pre 5.6.0 behaviour.

     o   "h2ph" has various enhancements to cope with constructs
         in header files that used to result in incorrect or
         invalid output.

New or Changed Diagnostics
     There is a new taint error, "%ENV is aliased to %s". This
     error is thrown when taint checks are enabled and when *ENV
     has been aliased, so that %ENV has no env-magic anymore and
     hence the environment cannot be verified as taint-free.

     The internals of "pack" and "unpack" have been updated. All
     legitimate templates should work as before, but there may be
     some changes in the error reported for complex failure
     cases. Any behaviour changes for non-error cases are bugs,
     and should be reported.

Changed Internals
     There has been a fair amount of refactoring of the "C"
     source code, partly to make it tidier and more maintainable.
     The resulting object code and the "perl" binary may well be
     smaller than 5.8.6, and hopefully faster in some cases, but
     apart from this there should be no user-detectable changes.

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     "${^UTF8LOCALE}" has been added to give perl space access to

     The size of the arenas used to allocate SV heads and most SV
     bodies can now be changed at compile time. The old size was
     1008 bytes, the new default size is 4080 bytes.

Known Problems
     Unicode strings returned from overloaded operators can be
     buggy. This is a long standing bug reported since 5.8.6 was
     released, but we do not yet have a suitable fix for it.

Platform Specific Problems
     On UNICOS, lib/Math/BigInt/t/bigintc.t hangs burning CPU.
     ext/B/t/bytecode.t and ext/Socket/t/socketpair.t both fail
     tests.  These are unlikely to be resolved, as our valiant
     UNICOS porter's last Cray is being decommissioned.

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.
     You can browse and search the Perl 5 bugs at

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following

     |Availability   | runtime/perl-512 |
     |Stability      | Uncommitted      |
     The Changes file for exhaustive details on what changed.

     The INSTALL file for how to build Perl.

     The README file for general stuff.

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     The Artistic and Copying files for copyright information.

     This software was built from source available at  The original
     community source was downloaded from

     Further information about this software can be found on the
     open source community website at

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