Saturday, September 01, 2007

Factor 0.90 now available

Factor 0.90 is now available. The web site hasn't been updated yet, so you can't browse the docs online right now; so instead just download it and read the docs in the UI!

Lots of changes:
  • New module system. (Eduardo Cavazos)
  • Tuple constructors are defined differently now.
  • Mixin classes implemented; these are essentially extensible unions.
  • New float-array data type implements a space-efficient sequence of floats.
  • Moved <file-appender>, delete-file, make-directory, delete-directory words from libs/io into the core, and fixed them to work on more platforms.
  • New host-name word.
  • The directory word now outputs an array of pairs, with the second element of each pair indicating if that entry is a subdirectory. This saves an unnecessary stat call when traversing directory hierarchies, which speeds things up.
  • IPv6 is now supported, along with Unix domain sockets (the latter on Unix systems only). The stack effects of <client> and <server> have changed, since they now take generic address specifiers; see Networking.
  • The stage 2 bootstrap process is more flexible, and various subsystems such as help, tools and the UI can be omitted by supplying command line switches; see Command line switches for bootstrap.
  • The -shell command line switch has been replaced by a -run command line switch; see Command line switches for general usage.
  • Variable usage inference has been removed; the infer word no longer reports this information.
  • Stand-alone image deployment in tools.deploy vocabulary .
  • Stand-alone application bundle deployment on Mac OS X in vocabulary.
  • New vocabulary browser tool in the UI.
  • New profiler tool in the UI.
    Most existing libraries were improved when ported to the new module system; the most notable changes include:
  • asn1: ASN1 parser and writer. (Elie Chaftari)
  • benchmarks: new set of benchmarks.
  • cfdg: Context-free design grammar implementation; see (Eduardo Cavazos)
  • cryptlib: Cryptlib library binding. (Elie Chaftari)
  • cryptlib.streams: Streams which perform SSL encryption and decryption. (Matthew Willis)
  • hints: Give type specialization hints to the compiler.
  • inverse: Invertible computation and concatenative pattern matching. (Daniel Ehrenberg)
  • ldap: OpenLDAP library binding. (Elie Chaftari)
  • locals: Efficient lexically scoped locals, closures, and local words.
  • mortar: Experimental message-passing object system. (Eduardo Cavazos)
  • openssl: OpenSSL library binding. (Elie Chaftari)
  • pack: Utility for reading and writing binary data. (Doug Coleman)
  • pdf: Haru PDF library binding. (Elie Chaftari)
  • qualified: Refer to words from another vocabulary without adding the entire vocabulary to the search path. (Daniel Ehrenberg)
  • roman: Reading and writing Roman numerals. (Doug Coleman)
  • scite: SciTE editor integration. (Clemens Hofreither)
  • smtp: SMTP client with support for CRAM-MD5 authentication. (Elie Chaftari, Dirk Vleugels)
  • tuple-arrays: Space-efficient packed tuple arrays. (Daniel Ehrenberg)
  • unicode: major new functionality added. (Daniel Ehrenberg)

  • The curry word now runs in constant time, and curried quotations can be called from compiled code; this allows for abstractions and idioms which were previously impractical due to performance issues. In particular, words such as each-with and map-with are gone; each-with can now be written as curry* each, and similarly for other -with combinators.
  • Improved generational promotion strategy in garbage collector reduces the amount of junk which makes its way into tenured space, which in turn reduces the frequency of full garbage collections.
  • Faster generic word dispatch and union membership testing.
  • Alien memory accessors are compiled as intrinsics where possible, which improves performance in code which iteroperates with C libraries.
  • Networking support added for Windows CE. (Doug Coleman)
  • UDP/IP networking support added for all Windows platforms. (Doug Coleman)
  • Solaris/x86 fixes. (Samuel Tardieu)
  • Linux/AMD64 port works again.

A big thank you to all the contributors and testers who made this release possible.

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