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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       perl583delta - what is new for perl v5.8.3

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       This document describes differences between the 5.8.2
       release and the 5.8.3 release.

       If you are upgrading from an earlier release such as
       5.6.1, first read the perl58delta, which describes differences
 between 5.6.0 and 5.8.0, and the perl581delta and
       perl582delta, which describe differences between 5.8.0,
       5.8.1 and 5.8.2

Incompatible Changes    [Toc]    [Back]

       There are no changes incompatible with 5.8.2.

Core Enhancements    [Toc]    [Back]

       A "SCALAR" method is now available for tied hashes. This
       is called when a tied hash is used in scalar context, such

           if (%tied_hash) {

       The old behaviour was that %tied_hash would return whatever
 would have been returned for that hash before the
       hash was tied (so usually 0). The new behaviour in the
       absence of a SCALAR method is to return TRUE if in the
       middle of an "each" iteration, and otherwise call FIRSTKEY
       to check if the hash is empty (making sure that a subsequent
 "each" will also begin by calling FIRSTKEY). Please
       see  "SCALAR" in perltie for the full details and caveats.

Modules and Pragmata    [Toc]    [Back]

           A function "again" is provided to resolve problems
           where modules in different directories wish to use

           You can now weaken references to read only values.

           "cond_wait" has a new two argument form. "cond_timedwait"
 has been added.

Utility Changes    [Toc]    [Back]

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

       A new utility, "prove", makes it easy to run an individual
       regression test at the command line. "prove" is part of
       Test::Harness, which users of earlier Perl versions can
       install from CPAN.

New Documentation    [Toc]    [Back]

       The documentation has been revised in places to produce
       more standard manpages.

       The documentation for the special code blocks (BEGIN,
       CHECK, INIT, END) has been improved.

Installation and Configuration Improvements    [Toc]    [Back]

       Perl now builds on OpenVMS I64

Selected Bug Fixes    [Toc]    [Back]

       Using substr() on a UTF8 string could cause subsequent
       accesses on that string to return garbage. This was due to
       incorrect UTF8 offsets being cached, and is now fixed.

       join() could return garbage when the same join() statement
       was used to process 8 bit data having earlier processed
       UTF8 data, due to the flags on that statement's temporary
       workspace not being reset correctly. This is now fixed.

       "$a .. $b" will now work as expected when either $a or $b
       is "undef"

       Using Unicode keys with tied hashes should now work correctly.

       Reading $^E now preserves $!. Previously, the C code
       implementing $^E did not preserve "errno", so reading $^E
       could cause "errno" and therefore $! to change unexpectedly.

       Reentrant functions will (once more) work with C++. 5.8.2
       introduced a bugfix which accidentally broke the compilation
 of Perl extensions written in C++

New or Changed Diagnostics    [Toc]    [Back]

       The fatal error "DESTROY created new reference to dead
       object" is now documented in perldiag.

Changed Internals    [Toc]    [Back]

       The hash code has been refactored to reduce source duplication.
 The external interface is unchanged, and aside
       from the bug fixes described above, there should be no
       change in behaviour.

       "hv_clear_placeholders" is now part of the perl API

       Some C macros have been tidied. In particular macros which
       create temporary local variables now name these variables
       more defensively, which should avoid bugs where names

       <signal.h> is now always included.

Configuration and Building    [Toc]    [Back]

       "Configure" now invokes callbacks regardless of the value
       of the variable they are called for. Previously callbacks
       were only invoked in the "case $variable $define)" branch.
       This change should only affect platform maintainers writing
 configuration hints files.

Platform Specific Problems    [Toc]    [Back]

       The regression test ext/threads/shared/t/wait.t fails on
       early RedHat 9 and HP-UX 10.20 due to bugs in their
       threading implementations.  RedHat users should see
       https://rhn.redhat.com/errata/RHBA-2003-136.html and consider
 upgrading their glibc.

Known Problems    [Toc]    [Back]

       Detached threads aren't supported on Windows yet, as they
       may lead to memory access violation problems.

       There is a known race condition opening scripts in "suidperl".
 "suidperl" is neither built nor installed by
       default, and has been deprecated since perl 5.8.0. You are
       advised to replace use of suidperl with tools such as sudo
       ( http://www.courtesan.com/sudo/ )

       We have a backlog of unresolved bugs. Dealing with bugs
       and bug reports is unglamorous work; not something ideally
       suited  to volunteer labour, but that is all that we have.

       The perl5 development team are implementing changes to
       help address this problem, which should go live in early

Future Directions    [Toc]    [Back]

       Code freeze for the next maintenance release (5.8.4) is on
       March 31st 2004, with release expected by mid April. Similarly
 5.8.5's freeze will be at the end of June, with
       release by mid July.

Obituary    [Toc]    [Back]

       Iain 'Spoon' Truskett, Perl hacker, author of perlreref
       and contributor to CPAN, died suddenly on 29th December
       2003, aged 24.  He will be missed.

Reporting Bugs    [Toc]    [Back]

       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 http://bugs.perl.org.
       There may also be information at http://www.perl.org, 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 perlbug@perl.org to be analysed by the Perl
       porting team.  You can browse and search the Perl 5 bugs
       at http://bugs.perl.org/

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       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.

perl v5.8.5                 2002-11-06                          4
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