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GNU Guile 1.9.12 released (beta)
GNU Guile 1.9.12 released (beta)
Sat, 04 Sep 2010 22:40:11 +0200
Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.2 (gnu/linux)
We are pleased to announce GNU Guile release 1.9.12. This may be the
last pre-release before the 2.0 release.
It provides many new noteworthy features, most notably the addition of a
compiler and virtual machine. We encourage you to test them and provide
feedback to address@hidden'.
The Guile web page is located at http://gnu.org/software/guile/, and
among other things, it contains a link to the Guile FAQ and pointers to
the mailing lists.
Guile is an implementation of the Scheme programming language, with
support for many SRFIs, packaged for use in a wide variety of
environments. In addition to implementing the R5RS Scheme standard and
a large subset of R6RS, Guile includes a module system, full access to
POSIX system calls, networking support, multiple threads, dynamic
linking, a foreign function call interface, and powerful string
Guile can run interactively, as a script interpreter, and as a Scheme
compiler to VM bytecode. It is also packaged as a library so that
applications can easily incorporate a complete Scheme interpreter/VM.
An application can use Guile as an extension language, a clean and
powerful configuration language, or as multi-purpose "glue" to connect
primitives provided by the application. It is easy to call Scheme code
From C code and vice versa. Applications can add new functions, data
types, control structures, and even syntax to Guile, to create a
domain-specific language tailored to the task at hand.
Here are the compressed sources:
Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:
To reduce load on the main server, use a mirror listed at:
Here are the MD5 and SHA1 checksums:
[*] You can use either of the above signature files to verify that
the corresponding file (without the .sig suffix) is intact. First,
be sure to download both the .sig file and the corresponding tarball.
Then, run a command like this:
gpg --verify guile-1.9.12.tar.gz.sig
If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:
gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys EA52ECF4
and rerun the `gpg --verify' command.
This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
This is a new release series with many new features and differences
compared to 1.8. The complete list of changes compared to the 1.8.x
series is available in the `NEWS' file.
Changes since the 1.9.11 pre-release:
** Many R6RS bugfixes
`(rnrs bytevectors)' and `(rnrs io ports)' now have version information,
like the rest of the modules. The `(rnrs unicode)' module is now
re-exported by `(rnrs)'. Top-level `import' forms may have more than one
clause. Warnings about duplicate bindings have been fixed, along with
some typos in the modules. There were a number of other bugfixes as well.
For the current list of known R6RS incompatibilities, see "R6RS
Incompatibilities" in the manual.
** Documentation for standard R6RS libraries
See "R6RS Standard Libraries" in the manual, for more details.
** Support for `letrec*'
Guile now supports `letrec*', a recursive lexical binding operator in
which the identifiers are bound in order. See "Local Bindings" in the
manual, for more details.
** Internal definitions now expand to `letrec*'
Following the R6RS, internal definitions now expand to letrec* instead
of letrec. The following program is invalid for R5RS, but valid for
(define bar 10)
(define baz (+ bar 20))
;; R5RS and Guile <= 1.8:
(foo) => Unbound variable: bar
;; R6RS and Guile >= 2.0:
(foo) => 30
This change should not affect correct R5RS programs, or programs written
in earlier Guile dialects.
** Recursive debugging REPL on error
When Guile sees an error, instead of dropping into a special debugging
prompt, it will enter a recursive REPL in the dynamic context of the
error. See "Error Handling" in the manual, for more information.
A recursive REPL is the same as any other REPL, except that it
has been augmented with debugging information, so that one can inspect
the context of the error. The debugger has been integrated with the REPL
via a set of debugging meta-commands.
For example, one may access a backtrace with `,backtrace' (or
`,bt'). See "Interactive Debugging" in the manual, for more
** New `error-message' meta-command at the REPL
The new `error-message' meta-command displays the message associated
with the error that started the current debugging REPL. See "Debug
Commands" in the manual.
** Readline tab completion for arguments
When readline is enabled, tab completion works for arguments too, not
just for the operator position.
** Various REPL robustness fixes
The REPL no longer enters the debugger when an error occurs at read-time
and compile-time, or when executing meta-commands. Additionally, the
REPL is more strict about the ports that it uses, saving the current
input and output ports at startup and using those ports when entering
recursive prompts. This allows debugging of an error within
Finally, Ctrl-d can now be used to exit a recursive REPL, dropping the
user back to the parent REPL.
** Better procedure name and source location propagation
There was a bug in 1.9.11 which would leave most procedures un-named;
this and other previous deficiencies have been fixed.
** New macro: `current-source-location'
The macro returns the current source location (to be documented).
** `module-filename' field and accessor
Modules now record the file in which they are defined. This field may be
accessed with the new `module-filename' procedure.
** Deprecate the old `scm-style-repl'
The following bindings from boot-9 are now found in `(ice-9
scm-style-repl)': `scm-style-repl', `error-catching-loop',
`error-catching-repl', `bad-throw', `scm-repl-silent'
`assert-repl-verbosity', `scm-repl-prompt', `set-repl-prompt!', `repl',
The following bindings have been deprecated, with no replacement:
The following bindings have been totally removed:
Deprecated forwarding shims have been installed so that users that
expect these bindings in the main namespace will still work, but receive
a deprecation warning.
** Passing a number as the destination of `format' is deprecated
The `format' procedure in `(ice-9 format)' now emits a deprecation
warning if a number is passed as its first argument.
** Miscellaneous other deprecations
`apply-to-args', `has-suffix?', `scheme-file-suffix'
`get-option', `for-next-option', `display-usage-report',
`transform-usage-lambda', `collect', `set-batch-mode?!'
** All core defmacros reimplemented hygienically
All macros present in the default environment are now implemented with
syntax-case. This should not have practical ramifications, beyond those
listed below in "Lexical bindings introduced by hygienic macros may not
be referenced by nonhygienic macros".
** Random generator state may be serialized to a datum
`random-state->datum' will serialize a random state to a datum, which
may be written out, read back in later, and revivified using
`datum->random-state'. See "Random" in the manual, for more details.
** New primitive: `tmpfile'.
See "File System" in the manual.
** Modules load within a known environment
It takes a few procedure calls to define a module, and those procedure
calls need to be in scope. Now we ensure that the current module when
loading a module is one that has the needed bindings, instead of relying
** Remove encoding of versions into the file system
It used to be that, when loading a module, if the user specified a
version, Guile would grovel about in the file system to find the
module. This process was slow and not robust. This support has been
removed: modules are once more always loaded via `primitive-load-path'.
Module versions in the file system may be added again in the future, in
an extensible way. Contact address@hidden with patches.
** Alex Shinn's pattern matcher for (ice-9 match).
Guile's copy of Andrew K. Wright's `match' library has been replaced by
a compatible hygienic implementation by Alex Shinn. It is now
documented, see "Pattern Matching" in the manual.
Compared to Andrew K. Wright's `match', the new `match' lacks
`match-define', `match:error-control', `match:set-error-control',
`match:error', `match:set-error', and all structure-related procedures.
** Better debugging for psyntax
We now build psyntax-pp.go directly from psyntax.scm, which allows us to
preserve the original source locations and variable names. Git users
will also be pleased to note that psyntax-pp.scm is no longer
automatically regenerated from a normal `make' invocation.
Guile's build is visually quieter, due to the use of Automake 1.11's
AM_SILENT_RULES. Build as `make V=1' to see all of the output.
** Better REPL options interface
The set of REPL options is now fixed and typechecked -- you can't
mistakenly set an option that doesn't exist, or set an value with an
incorrect type. The following options have been added: `prompt',
`compile-options', and `value-history'.
The new `repl-default-option-set!' procedure from `(system repl common)'
can set default options for future REPLs. `repl-default-prompt-set!' is
a convenience procedure to set default prompts.
** `*unspecified*' is identifier syntax
`*unspecified*' is no longer a variable, so it is optimized properly by
the compiler, and is not `set!'-able.
** `set-batch-mode?!' replaced by `ensure-batch-mode!'
"Batch mode" is a flag used to tell a program that it is not running
interactively. One usually turns it on after a fork. It may not be
turned off. `ensure-batch-mode!' deprecates the old `set-batch-mode?!',
because it is a better interface, as it can only turn on batch mode, not
turn it off.
** Support for settable identifier syntax
Following the R6RS, "variable transformers" are settable
identifier-syntax. See "Identifier macros" in the manual, for more
** Deprecate `save-stack', `the-last-stack'
It used to be that the way to debug programs in Guile was to capture the
stack at the time of error, drop back to the REPL, then debug that
stack. But this approach didn't compose, was tricky to get right in the
presence of threads, and was not very powerful.
So `save-stack', `stack-saved?', and `the-last-stack' have been moved to
`(ice-9 save-stack)', with deprecated bindings left in the root module.
** Compilation warnings at the REPL
By default, Guile now prints compile-time warnings for code entered at
the REPL. Current warnings are for unbound variables and mismatched
** syntax-case treats `_' as a placeholder
Following R6RS, a `_' in a syntax-rules or syntax-case pattern matches
anything, and binds no pattern variables. Unlike the R6RS, Guile also
permits `_' to be in the literals list for a pattern.
** Remove old Emacs interface
Guile had an unused `--emacs' command line argument that was supposed to
help when running Guile inside Emacs. This option has been removed, and
the helper functions `named-module-use!' and `load-emacs-interface' have
** `top-repl' has its own module
The `top-repl' binding, called with Guile is run interactively, is now
is its own module, `(ice-9 top-repl)'. A deprecated forwarding shim was
left in the default environment.
** Value history in the REPL on by default
By default, the REPL will save computed values in variables like `$1',
`$2', and the like. There are programmatic and interactive interfaces to
control this. See "Value History" in the manual, for more information.
** New threads are in `(guile-user)' by default, not `(guile)'
It used to be that a new thread entering Guile would do so in the
`(guile)' module, unless this was the first time Guile was initialized,
in which case it was `(guile-user)'. This has been fixed to have all
new threads unknown to Guile default to `(guile-user)'.
** Backtrace improvements
It used to be that backtraces showed a couple of extra frames, from the
implementation of prompts. This has been fixed. Also, backtraces now
print column numbers in addition to line numbers, if possible.
** `display-error' takes a frame
The `display-error' / `scm_display_error' helper now takes a frame as an
argument instead of a stack. Stacks are still supported in deprecated
builds. Additionally, `display-error' will again source location
information for the error.
** Better error reporting from the VM
If a value of the wrong type is passed to `car', `cdr', `set-car!',
`set-cdr!', `apply', a struct accessor, or a bytevector accessors, the
error from the VM now indicates which procedure failed, instead of
lumping them all into the non-helpful "VM error". In addition, unbound
variable reporting is now more helpful.
** No more `(ice-9 debug)'
This module had some debugging helpers that are no longer applicable to
the current debugging model. Importing this module will produce a
deprecation warning. Users should contact bug-guile for support.
** No more `(system vm debug)'
This module is replaced by the recursive debugging REPL.
** File ports handle binary mode and coding declarations
Binary file ports are supported again, by opening files in the
ISO-8859-1 encoding. If an encoding is not specified for textual ports,
Guile now grovels the file for a "coding:" directive, and uses that if
possible. See the documentation for `open-file', for more information.
** R6RS character hex escapes on by default
However, R6RS character escapes within strings are incompatible with
older Guile escape sequences, so they still need the reader option
turned on. See "Reader Options" in the manual, for more information.
** Fix random number generator on 64-bit platforms
There was a nasty bug on 64-bit platforms in which asking for a random
integer with a range between 2**32 and 2**64 caused a segfault. After
many embarrassing iterations, this was fixed.
** Add `vhash-fold*' in `(ice-9 vlist)'
See "VLists" in the manual, for more information.
** Timestamps on autocompiled files checked for freshness, not equality
It used to be that to load a `.go' file instead of a `.scm' file, we
required that the timestamp of the `.go' file be equal to that of the
`.scm'. This has been relaxed to accept newer `.go' files, to integrate
better with `make' tools.
** Use of nanosecond-resolution timestamps
The auto-compilation logic now compares the source and compiled file
timestamps using nano-second resolution, when available.
** Simplifications and callback support added to the `(system foreign)'.
Guile's foreign function interface was simplified a great
deal. Interested users should see "Foreign Function Interface" in the
manual, for full details.
In addition, the new procedure `procedure->pointer' makes it possible to
use Scheme procedures as "callbacks" to C functions.
** User Scheme code may be placed in a version-specific path
Before, there was only one way to install user Scheme code to a
version-specific Guile directory: install to Guile's own path,
e.g. /usr/share/guile/2.0. The site directory,
e.g. /usr/share/guile/site, was unversioned. This has been changed to
add a version-specific site directory, e.g. /usr/share/guile/site/2.0,
searched before the global site directory.
** Docstrings for `syntax-rules' macros
The `syntax-rules' form now accepts a docstring between the literals and
the first clause.
** SRFI-1 partly rewritten in Scheme
Some of the SRFI-1 procedures that were written in C "for efficiency"
have been rewritten in Scheme.
** And of course, the usual collection of bugfixes
Interested users should see the ChangeLog for more information.
You can follow Guile development in the Git repository and on the Guile
mailing lists. Guile builds from the `master' branch of Git have
version number 1.9.x.
Guile versions with an odd middle number, e.g., 1.9.*, are unstable
development versions. Even middle numbers indicate stable versions.
This has been the case since the 1.3.* series.
Please report bugs to address@hidden'. We also welcome reports of
successful builds, which can be sent to the same email address.
Ludovic Courtès, on behalf of the Guile team.
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