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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       perl584delta - what is new for perl v5.8.4

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       This document describes differences between the 5.8.3
       release and the 5.8.4 release.

Incompatible Changes    [Toc]    [Back]

       Many minor bugs have been fixed. Scripts which happen to
       rely on previously erroneous behaviour will consider these
       fixes as incompatible changes :-) You are advised to perform
 sufficient acceptance testing on this release to satisfy
 yourself that this does not affect you, before
       putting this release into production.

       The diagnostic output of Carp has been changed slightly,
       to add a space after the comma between arguments. This
       makes it much easier for tools such as web browsers to
       wrap it, but might confuse any automatic tools which perform
 detailed parsing of Carp output.

       The internal dump output has been improved, so that nonprintable
 characters such as newline and backspace are
       output in "otation, rather than octal. This might
       just confuse non-robust tools which parse the output of
       modules such as Devel::Peek.

Core Enhancements    [Toc]    [Back]

       Malloc wrapping

       Perl can now be built to detect attempts to assign pathologically
 large chunks of memory.  Previously such assignments
 would suffer from integer wrap-around during size
       calculations causing a misallocation, which would crash
       perl, and could theoretically be used for "stack smashing"
       attacks.  The wrapping defaults to enabled on platforms
       where we know it works (most AIX configurations, BSDi,
       Darwin, DEC OSF/1, FreeBSD, HP/UX, GNU Linux, OpenBSD,
       Solaris, VMS and most Win32 compilers) and defaults to
       disabled on other platforms.

       Unicode Character Database 4.0.1    [Toc]    [Back]

       The copy of the Unicode Character Database included in
       Perl 5.8 has been updated to 4.0.1 from 4.0.0.

       suidperl less insecure

       Paul Szabo has analysed and patched "suidperl" to remove
       existing known insecurities. Currently there are no known
       holes in "suidperl", but previous experience shows that we
       cannot be confident that these were the last. You may no
       longer invoke the set uid perl directly, so to preserve
       backwards compatibility with scripts that invoke
       #!/usr/bin/suidperl the only set uid binary is now
       "sperl5.8."n ("sperl5.8.4" for this release). "suidperl"
       is installed as a hard link to "perl"; both "suidperl" and
       "perl" will invoke "sperl5.8.4" automatically the set uid
       binary, so this change should be completely transparent.

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


       In addition to bug fixes, "format"'s features have been
       enhanced. See perlform

Modules and Pragmata    [Toc]    [Back]

       The (mis)use of "/tmp" in core modules and documentation
       has been tidied up.  Some modules available both within
       the perl core and independently from CPAN ("dual-life modules")
 have not yet had these changes applied; the changes
       will be integrated into future stable perl releases as the
       modules are updated on CPAN.

       Updated modules    [Toc]    [Back]

           There is experimental support for Linux abstract Unix
           domain sockets.

           Synced with its CPAN version 2.10

           "syslog()" can now use numeric constants for facility
           names and priorities, in addition to strings.

           Win32.pm/Win32.xs has moved from the libwin32 module
           to core Perl

           Detached threads are now also supported on Windows.


Performance Enhancements    [Toc]    [Back]

       o   Accelerated Unicode case mappings ("/i", "lc", "uc",

       o   In place sort optimised (eg "@a = sort @a")

       o   Unnecessary assignment optimised away in

             my $s = undef;
             my @a = ();
             my %h = ();

       o   Optimised "map" in scalar context

Utility Changes    [Toc]    [Back]

       The Perl debugger (lib/perl5db.pl) can now save all debugger
 commands for sourcing later, and can display the parent
 inheritance tree of a given class.

Installation and Configuration Improvements    [Toc]    [Back]

       The build process on both VMS and Windows has had several
       minor improvements made. On Windows Borland's C compiler
       can now compile perl with PerlIO and/or USE_LARGE_FILES

       "perl.exe" on Windows now has a "Camel" logo icon. The use
       of a camel with the topic of Perl is a trademark of
       O'Reilly and Associates Inc., and is used with their permission
 (ie distribution of the source, compiling a Windows
 executable from it, and using that executable
       locally). Use of the supplied camel for anything other
       than a perl executable's icon is specifically not covered,
       and anyone wishing to redistribute perl binaries with the
       icon should check directly with O'Reilly beforehand.

       Perl should build cleanly on Stratus VOS once more.

Selected Bug Fixes    [Toc]    [Back]

       More utf8 bugs fixed, notably in how "chomp", "chop",
       "send", and "syswrite" and interact with utf8 data. Concatenation
 now works correctly when "use bytes;" is in

       Pragmata are now correctly propagated into (?{...}) constructions
 in regexps.  Code such as

          my $x = qr{ ... (??{ $x }) ... };

       will now (correctly) fail under use strict. (As the inner
       $x is and has always referred to $::x)

       The "const in void context" warning has been suppressed
       for a constant in an optimised-away boolean expression
       such as "5 || print;"

       "perl -i" could "fchmod(stdin)" by mistake. This is serious
 if stdin is attached to a terminal, and perl is running
 as root. Now fixed.

New or Changed Diagnostics    [Toc]    [Back]

       "Carp" and the internal diagnostic routines used by
       "Devel::Peek" have been made clearer, as described in
       "Incompatible Changes"

Changed Internals    [Toc]    [Back]

       Some bugs have been fixed in the hash internals.
       Restricted hashes and their place holders are now allocated
 and deleted at slightly different times, but this
       should not be visible to user code.

Future Directions    [Toc]    [Back]

       Code freeze for the next maintenance release (5.8.5) will
       be on 30th June 2004, with release by mid July.

Platform Specific Problems    [Toc]    [Back]

       This release is known not to build on Windows 95.

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                          5
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