[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

GNU Guile 2.2.0 released

From: Andy Wingo
Subject: GNU Guile 2.2.0 released
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:16:22 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.1 (gnu/linux)

We are delighted to announce GNU Guile release 2.2.0, the first of a
new stable release series.

More than 6 years in the making, Guile 2.2 includes a new optimizing
compiler and high-performance register virtual machine.  Compared to
the old 2.0 series, real-world programs often show a speedup of 30% or
more with Guile 2.2.

Besides the compiler upgrade, Guile 2.2 removes limitations on user
programs by lowering memory usage, speeding up the "eval" interpreter,
providing better support for multi-core programming, and last but not
least, removing any fixed limit on recursive function calls.

Not only does Guile 2.2 run fast, it also supports the creation of
user-space concurrency facilities that multiplex millions of
concurrent lightweight "fibers".  See
for pointers to promising experiments.

If you are migrating from earlier versions of Guile, be sure to read
the NEWS below for exhaustive information on user-visible changes
relative to the previous stable series.  Installation instructions
follow the NEWS.  As a bonus, this release includes a binary release
built with Guix that you can untar onto any x86_64 GNU/Linux system
and test out Guile for yourself; details at the end of this mail.

                             *  *  *

Guile is an implementation of the Scheme programming language.

The Guile web page is located at, and
among other things, it contains a copy of the Guile manual and pointers
to more resources.

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.

Guile implements many common Scheme standards, including R5RS, R6RS, and
a number of SRFIs.  In addition, Guile includes its own module system,
full access to POSIX system calls, networking support, multiple threads,
dynamic linking, a foreign function call interface, and powerful string

Guile 2.2.0 can be installed in parallel with Guile 2.0.x; see

Changes in 2.2.0 (changes since the 2.0.x stable release series):

* Notable changes

** Speed

The biggest change in Guile 2.2 is a complete rewrite of its virtual
machine and compiler internals.  The result is faster startup time,
better memory usage, and faster execution of user code.  See the
"Performance improvements" section below for more details.

** Better thread-safety

This new release series takes the ABI-break opportunity to fix some
interfaces that were difficult to use correctly from multiple threads.
Notably, weak hash tables and ports are now transparently thread-safe.
See "Scheduling" in the manual, for updated documentation on threads and
communications primitives.

** Better space-safety

It used to be the case that, when calling a Scheme procedure, the
procedure and arguments were always preserved against garbage
collection.  This is no longer the case; Guile is free to collect the
procedure and arguments if they become unreachable, or to re-use their
slots for other local variables.  Guile still offers good-quality
backtraces by determining the procedure being called from the
instruction pointer instead of from the value in slot 0 of an
application frame, and by using a live variable map that allows the
debugger to know which locals are live at all points in a frame.

** Off-main-thread finalization

Following Guile 2.0.6's change to invoke finalizers via asyncs, Guile
2.2 takes the additional step of invoking finalizers from a dedicated
finalizer thread, if threads are enabled.  This avoids concurrency
issues between finalizers and application code, and also speeds up
finalization.  If your application's finalizers are not robust to the
presence of threads, see "Foreign Objects" in the manual for information
on how to disable automatic finalization and instead run finalizers

** Better locale support in Guile scripts

When Guile is invoked directly, either from the command line or via a
hash-bang line (e.g. "#!/usr/bin/guile"), it now installs the current
locale via a call to `(setlocale LC_ALL "")'.  For users with a unicode
locale, this makes all ports unicode-capable by default, without the
need to call `setlocale' in your program.  This behavior may be
controlled via the GUILE_INSTALL_LOCALE environment variable; see
"Environment Variables" in the manual, for more.

** Complete Emacs-compatible Elisp implementation

Thanks to the work of Robin Templeton, Guile's Elisp implementation is
now fully Emacs-compatible, implementing all of Elisp's features and
quirks in the same way as the editor we know and love.

** Dynamically expandable stacks

Instead of allocating fixed stack sizes for running Scheme code, Guile
now starts off each thread with only one page of stack, and expands and
shrinks it dynamically as needed.  Guile will throw an exception for
stack overflows if growing the stack fails.  It is also possible to
impose a stack limit during the extent of a function call.  See "Stack
Overflow" in the manual, for more.

This change allows users to write programs that use the stack as a data
structure for pending computations, as it was meant to be, without
reifying that data out to the heap.  Where you would previously make a
loop that collect its results in reverse order only to re-reverse them
at the end, now you can just recurse without worrying about stack

Using the stack also allows more code to be continuation-safe.  For
example, returning multiple times from a `map' procedure in Guile 2.0
would change the value of previously returned result lists, because
`map' built its result list in reverse order then used `reverse!' to
return the proper result.  Now in Guile 2.2, `map' is implemented using
straightforward recursion, which eliminates this bug while maintaining
good performance as well as good space complexity.

** Out-of-memory improvements

Instead of aborting, failures to allocate memory will now raise an
unwind-only `out-of-memory' exception, and cause the corresponding
`catch' expression to run garbage collection in order to free up memory.

** GOOPS core reimplemented in Scheme

Guile's object orientation system, GOOPS, has been mostly reimplemented
in Scheme.  This decreases its maintenance burden on the rest of Guile,
while also makes it possible to implement new features in the future,
such as method combinations or `eqv?' specializers.

** Better handling of GUILE_LOAD_COMPILED_PATH

It used to be that Guile would stop at the first .go file it found in
the GUILE_LOAD_COMPILED_PATH.  If that file turned out to be out of
date, then no .go file would be loaded.  Now Guile will continue to
search the path for a file which is both present and up-to-date, with
respect to the .scm file.

** C99 required

Following Emacs, you must use a C99-capable compiler when building
Guile.  In the future we also expect require C99 to use Guile's C
interface, at least for `stdint' support.

** Lightweight pre-emptive threading primitives

The compiler now inserts special "handle-interrupts" opcodes before each
call, return, and backwards jump target.  This allows the user to
interrupt any computation and to accurately profile code using
interrupts.  It used to be that interrupts were run by calling a C
function from the VM; now interrupt thunks are run directly from the VM.
This allows interrupts to save a delimited continuation and, if the
continuation was established from the same VM invocation (the usual
restriction), that continuation can then be resumed.  In this way users
can implement lightweight pre-emptive threading facilities.

** with-dynamic-state in VM

Similarly, `with-dynamic-state' no longer recurses out of the VM,
allowing captured delimited continuations that include a
`with-dynamic-state' invocation to be resumed.  This is a precondition
to allow lightweight threading libraries to establish a dynamic state
per lightweight fiber.

* Performance improvements

** Faster programs via new virtual machine

Guile now compiles programs to instructions for a new virtual machine.
The new virtual machine's instructions can address their source and
destination operands by "name" (slot).  This makes access to named
temporary values much faster than in Guile 2.0, and removes a lot of
value-shuffling that the old virtual machine had to do.  The end result
is that loop-heavy code can be two or three times as fast with Guile 2.2
as in 2.0.  Your mileage may vary, of course; see "A Virtual Machine for
Guile" in the manual for the nitties and the gritties.

** Better startup time, memory usage with ELF object file format

Guile now uses the standard ELF format for its compiled code.  (Guile
has its own loader and linker, so this does not imply a dependency on
any particular platform's ELF toolchain.)  The benefit is that Guile is
now able to statically allocate more data in the object files.  ELF also
enables more sharing of data between processes, and decreases startup
time (about 40% faster than the already fast startup of the Guile 2.0
series).  Guile also uses DWARF for some of its debugging information.
Much of the debugging information can be stripped from the object files
as well.  See "Object File Format" in the manual, for full details.

** Better optimizations via compiler rewrite

Guile's compiler now uses a Continuation-Passing Style (CPS)
intermediate language, allowing it to reason easily about temporary
values and control flow.  Examples of optimizations that this permits
are optimal contification, optimal common subexpression elimination,
dead code elimination, loop-invariant code motion, loop peeling, loop
inversion, parallel moves with at most one temporary, allocation of
stack slots using precise liveness information, unboxing of 64-bit
integers and floating point values, and closure optimization.  For more,
see "Continuation-Passing Style" in the manual.

** Faster interpreter

Combined with a number of optimizations to the interpreter itself,
simply compiling `eval.scm' with the new compiler yields an interpreter
that is consistently two or three times faster than the one in Guile

** Allocation-free dynamic stack

Guile now implements the dynamic stack with an actual stack instead of a
list of heap objects, avoiding most allocation.  This speeds up prompts,
the `scm_dynwind_*' family of functions, fluids, and `dynamic-wind'.

** Optimized UTF-8 and Latin-1 ports, symbols, and strings

Guile 2.2 is faster at reading and writing UTF-8 and Latin-1 strings
from ports, and at converting symbols and strings to and from these

** Optimized hash functions

Guile 2.2 now uses Bob Jenkins' `hashword2' (from his `lookup3.c') for
its string hash, and Thomas Wang's integer hash function for `hashq' and
`hashv'.  These functions produce much better hash values across all
available fixnum bits.

** Optimized generic array facility

Thanks to work by Daniel Llorens, the generic array facility is much
faster now, as it is internally better able to dispatch on the type of
the underlying backing store.

** All ports are now buffered, can be targets of `setvbuf'

See "Buffering" in the manual, for more.  A port with a buffer size of 1
is equivalent to an unbuffered port.  Ports may set their default buffer
sizes, and some ports (for example soft ports) are unbuffered by default
for historical reasons.

** Mutexes are now faster under contention

Guile implements its own mutexes, so that threads that are trying to
acquire a mutex can be interrupted.  These mutexes used to be quite
inefficient when many threads were trying to acquire them, causing many
spurious wakeups and contention.  This has been fixed.

* New interfaces

** New `cond-expand' feature: `guile-2.2'

Use this feature if you need to check for Guile 2.2 from Scheme code.

** New predicate: `nil?'

See "Nil" in the manual.

** New compiler modules

Since the compiler was rewritten, there are new modules for the back-end
of the compiler and the low-level loader and introspection interfaces.
See the "Guile Implementation" chapter in the manual for all details.

** Add "tree" display mode for statprof.

See the newly updated "Statprof" section of the manual, for more.

** Support for non-blocking I/O

See "Non-Blocking I/O" in the manual, for more.

** Implement R6RS custom binary input/output ports

See "Custom Ports" in the manual.

** Implement R6RS output-buffer-mode
** Implement R6RS bytevector->string, string->bytevector

See "R6RS Transcoders" in the manual.

** `accept' now takes optional flags argument

These flags can include `SOCK_NONBLOCK' and `SOCK_CLOEXEC', indicating
options to apply to the returned socket, potentially removing the need
for additional system calls to set these options.  See "Network Sockets
and Communication" in the manual, for more.

** Thread-safe atomic boxes (references)

See "Atomics" in the manual.

** Thread-local fluids

Guile now has support for fluids whose values are not captured by
`current-dynamic-state' and not inheritied by child threads, and thus
are local to the kernel thread they run on.  See "Thread-Local
Variables" in the manual, for more.

** suspendable-continuation?

This predicate returns true if the delimited continuation captured by
aborting to a prompt would be able to be resumed.  See "Prompt
Primitives" in the manual for more.

** scm_c_prepare_to_wait_on_fd, scm_c_prepare_to_wait_on_cond,
** scm_c_wait_finished

See "Asyncs" in the manual for more.

** File descriptor finalizers

See "Ports and File Descriptors" in the manual.

** New inline functions: `scm_new_smob', `scm_new_double_smob'

These can replace many uses of SCM_NEWSMOB, SCM_RETURN_NEWSMOB2, and the
like.  See XXX in the manual, for more.

** New low-level type accessors

For more on `SCM_HAS_TYP7', `SCM_HAS_TYP7S', `SCM_HAS_TYP16', see XXX.

`SCM_HEAP_OBJECT_P' is now an alias for the inscrutable `SCM_NIMP'.

`SCM_UNPACK_POINTER' and `SCM_PACK_POINTER' are better-named versions of
the old `SCM2PTR' and `PTR2SCM'.  Also, `SCM_UNPACK_POINTER' yields a

** `TCP_NODELAY' and `TCP_CORK' socket options, if provided by the system

** `scm_c_put_latin1_chars', `scm_c_put_utf32_chars'

Use these instead of `scm_lfwrite'.  See the new "Using Ports from C"
section of the manual, for more.

** <standard-vtable>, standard-vtable-fields

See "Structures" in the manual for more on these.

** Convenience utilities for ports and strings.

See "Conversion to/from C" for more on `scm_from_port_string',
`scm_from_port_stringn', `scm_to_port_string', and

** New expressive PEG parser

See "PEG Parsing" in the manual for more.  Thanks to Michael Lucy for
originally writing these, and to Noah Lavine for integration work.

** `make-stack' now also works on delimited continuations

** Better URI-reference support

The `(web uri)' module now has interfaces for handling URI references,
which might not have a scheme.  The Location header of a web request or
response is now a URI reference instead of a URI.  Also,
`request-absolute-uri' now has an optional default scheme argument.  See
"Web" in the manual for full details.

** formal-name->char, char->formal-name

See "Characters", in the manual.

* Incompatible changes

** ASCII is not ISO-8859-1

In Guile 2.0, if a user set "ASCII" or "ANSI_X3.4-1968" as the encoding
of a port, Guile would treat it as ISO-8859-1.  While these encodings
are the same for codepoints 0 to 127, ASCII does not extend past that
range, whereas ISO-8859-1 goes up to 255.  Guile 2.2 no longer treats
ASCII as ISO-8859-1.  This is likely to be a problem only if the user's
locale is set to ASCII, and the user or a program writes non-ASCII
codepoints to a port.

** Decoding errors do not advance the read pointer before erroring

When the user sets a port's conversion strategy to "error", indicating
that Guile should throw an error if it tries to read from a port whose
incoming bytes are not valid for the port's encoding, it used to be that
Guile would advance the read pointer past the bad bytes, and then throw
an error.  This would allow the following `read-char' invocation to
proceed after the bad bytes.  This behavior is incompatible with the
final R6RS standard, and besides contravenes the user's intention to
raise an error on bad input.  Guile now raises an error without
advancing the read pointer.  To skip over a bad encoding, set the port
conversion strategy to "substitute" and read a substitute character.

** Decoding errors with `substitute' strategy return U+FFFD

It used to be that decoding errors with the `substitute' conversion
strategy would replace the bad bytes with a `?' character.  This has
been changed to use the standard U+FFFD REPLACEMENT CHARACTER, in
accordance with the Unicode recommendations.

** API to define new port types from C has changed

Guile's ports have been completely overhauled to allow Guile developers
and eventually Guile users to write low-level input and output routines
in Scheme.  The new internals will eventually allow for user-space
tasklets or green threads that suspend to a scheduler when they would
cause blocking I/O, allowing users to write straightforward network
services that parse their input and send their output as if it were
blocking, while under the hood Guile can multiplex many active
connections at once.

At the same time, this change makes Guile's ports implementation much
more maintainable, rationalizing the many legacy port internals and
making sure that the abstractions between the user, Guile's core ports
facility, and the port implementations result in a system that is as
performant and expressive as possible.

The interface to the user has no significant change, neither on the C
side nor on the Scheme side.  However this refactoring has changed the
interface to the port implementor in an incompatible way.  See the newly
expanded "I/O Extensions" in the manual, for full details.

*** Remove `scm_set_port_mark'

Port mark functions have not been called since the switch to the BDW
garbage collector.

*** Remove `scm_set_port_equalp'

Likewise port equal functions weren't being called.  Given that ports
have their own internal buffers, it doesn't make sense to hook them into
equal? anyway.

*** Remove `scm_set_port_free'

It used to be that if an open port became unreachable, a special "free"
function would be called instead of the "close" function.  Now that the
BDW-GC collector allows us to run arbitrary code in finalizers, we can
simplify to just call "close" on the port and remove the separate free
functions.  Note that hooking into the garbage collector has some
overhead.  For that reason Guile exposes a new interface,
`scm_set_port_needs_close_on_gc', allowing port implementations to
indicate to Guile whether they need closing on GC or not.

*** Remove `scm_set_port_end_input', `scm_set_port_flush'

As buffering is handled by Guile itself, these functions which were to
manage an implementation-side buffer are no longer needed.

*** Change prototype of `scm_make_port_type'

The `read' (renamed from `fill_input') and `write' functions now operate
on bytevectors.  Also the `mode_bits' argument now inplicitly includes
SCM_OPN, so you don't need to include these.

*** Change prototype of port `close' function

The port close function now returns void.

*** Port and port type data structures are now opaque

Port type implementations should now use API to access port state.
However, since the change to handle port buffering centrally, port type
implementations rarely need to access unrelated port state.

*** Port types are now `scm_t_port_type*', not a tc16 value

`scm_make_port_type' now returns an opaque pointer, not a tc16.
Relatedly, the limitation that there only be 256 port types has been

** String ports default to UTF-8

Guile 2.0 would use the `%default-port-encoding' when creating string
ports.  This resulted in ports that could only accept a subset of valid
characters, which was surprising to users.  Now string ports default to
the UTF-8 encoding.  Sneaky users can still play encoding conversion
games with string ports by explicitly setting the encoding of a port
after it is open.  See "Ports" in the manual for more.

** `scm_from_stringn' and `scm_to_stringn' encoding arguments are never NULL

These functions now require a valid `encoding' argument, and will abort
if given `NULL'.

** All r6rs ports are both textual and binary
Because R6RS ports are a thin layer on top of Guile's ports, and Guile's
ports are both textual and binary, Guile's R6RS ports are also both
textual and binary, and thus both kinds have port transcoders.  This is
an incompatibility with respect to R6RS.

** Threading facilities moved to (ice-9 threads)

It used to be that call-with-new-thread and other threading primitives
were available in the default environment.  This is no longer the case;
they have been moved to (ice-9 threads) instead.  Existing code will not
break, however; we used the deprecation facility to signal a warning
message while also providing these bindings in the root environment for
the duration of the 2.2 series.

** cancel-thread uses asynchronous interrupts, not pthread_cancel

See "Asyncs" in the manual, for more on asynchronous interrupts.

** SRFI-18 threads, mutexes, cond vars disjoint from Guile

When we added support for the SRFI-18 threading library in Guile 2.0, we
did so in a way that made SRFI-18 mutexes the same as Guile mutexes.
This was a mistake.  In Guile our goal is to provide basic,
well-thought-out, well-implemented, minimal primitives, on top of which
we can build a variety of opinionated frameworks.  Incorporating SRFI-18
functionality into core Guile caused us to bloat and slow down our core
threading primitives.  Worse, they became very hard to describe; they
did many things, did them poorly, and all that they did was never
adequately specified.

For all of these reasons we have returned to a situation where SRFI-18
concepts are implemented only in the `(srfi srfi-18)' module.  This
means that SRFI-18 threads are built on Guile threads, but aren't the
same as Guile threads; calling Guile `thread?' on a thread no longer
returns true.

We realize this causes inconvenience to users who use both Guile
threading interfaces and SRFI-18 interfaces, and we lament the change --
but we are better off now.  We hope the newly revised "Scheduling"
section in the manual compensates for the headache.

** Remove `lock-mutex' "owner" argument

Mutex owners are a SRFI-18 concept; use SRFI-18 mutexes instead.
Relatedly, `scm_lock_mutex_timed' taking the owner argument is now
deprecated; use `scm_timed_lock_mutex' instead.

** Remove `unlock-mutex' cond var and timeout arguments

It used to be that `unlock-mutex' included `wait-condition-variable'
functionality.  This has been deprecated; use SRFI-18 if you want this
behavior from `mutex-unlock!'.  Relatedly, `scm_unlock_mutex_timed' is
deprecated; use `scm_unlock_mutex' instead.

** Removed `unchecked-unlock' mutex flag

This flag was introduced for internal use by SRFI-18; use SRFI-18
mutexes if you need this behaviour.

** SRFI-18 mutexes no longer recursive

Contrary to specification, SRFI-18 mutexes in Guile were recursive.
This is no longer the case.

** Thread cleanup handlers removed

The `set-thread-cleanup!' and `thread-cleanup' functions that were added
in Guile 2.0 to support cleanup after thread cancellation are no longer
needed, since threads can declare cleanup handlers via `dynamic-wind'.

** Only threads created by Guile are joinable

`join-thread' used to work on "foreign" threads that were not created by
Guile itself, though their join value was always `#f'.  This is no
longer the case; attempting to join a foreign thread will throw an

** Dynamic states capture values, not locations

Dynamic states used to capture the locations of fluid-value
associations.  Capturing the current dynamic state then setting a fluid
would result in a mutation of that captured state.  Now capturing a
dynamic state simply captures the current values, and calling
`with-dynamic-state' copies those values into the Guile virtual machine
instead of aliasing them in a way that could allow them to be mutated in
place.  This change allows Guile's fluid variables to be thread-safe.
To capture the locations of a dynamic state, capture a
`with-dynamic-state' invocation using partial continuations instead.

** Remove `frame-procedure'

Several optimizations in Guile make `frame-procedure' an interface that
we can no longer support.  For background, `frame-procedure' used to
return the value at slot 0 in a frame, which usually corresponds to the
SCM value of the procedure being applied.  However it could be that this
slot is re-used for some other value, because the closure was not needed
in the function.  Such a re-use might even be for an untagged value, in
which case treating slot 0 as a SCM value is quite dangerous.  It's also
possible that so-called "well-known" closures (closures whose callers
are all known) are optimized in such a way that slot 0 is not a
procedure but some optimized representation of the procedure's free
variables.  Instead, developers building debugging tools that would like
access to `frame-procedure' are invited to look at the source for the
`(system vm frame)' module for alternate interfaces, including the new

** Remove `,procedure' REPL command

Not all procedures have values, so it doesn't make sense to expose this
interface to the user.  Instead, the `,locals' REPL command will include
the callee, if it is live.

** Remove `frame-local-ref', `frame-local-set!', `frame-num-locals'

These procedures reference values in a frame on the stack.  Since we now
have unboxed values of different kinds, it is now necessary to specify
the type when reference locals, and once this incompatible change needs
to be made, we might as well make these interfaces private.  See
"Frames' in the manual, for more information on the replacements for
these low-level interfaces.

** Vtable hierarchy changes

In an attempt to make Guile's structure and record types integrate
better with GOOPS by unifying the vtable hierarchy, `make-vtable-vtable'
is now deprecated.  Instead, users should just use `make-vtable' with
appropriate arguments.  See "Structures" in the manual for all of the
details.  As such, `record-type-vtable' and `%condition-type-vtable' now
have a parent vtable and are no longer roots of the vtable hierarchy.
** Syntax parameters are a distinct type

Guile 2.0's transitional implementation of `syntax-parameterize' was
based on the `fluid-let-syntax' interface inherited from the psyntax
expander.  This interface allowed any binding to be dynamically rebound
-- even bindings like `lambda'.  This is no longer the case in Guile
2.2.  Syntax parameters must be defined via `define-syntax-parameter',
and only such bindings may be parameterized.  See "Syntax Parameters" in
the manual for more.

** Defined identifiers scoped in the current module
Sometimes Guile's expander would attach incorrect module scoping
information for top-level bindings made by an expansion.  For example,
given the following R6RS library:

    (library (defconst)
      (export defconst)
      (import (guile))
      (define-syntax-rule (defconst name val)
          (define t val)
          (define-syntax-rule (name) t))))

Attempting to use it would produce an error:

    (import (defconst))
    (defconst foo 42)
    =| Unbound variable: t

It wasn't clear that we could fix this in Guile 2.0 without breaking
someone's delicate macros, so the fix is only coming out now.

** Pseudo-hygienically rename macro-introduced bindings
Bindings introduced by macros, like `t' in the `defconst' example above,
are now given pseudo-fresh names.  This allows

   (defconst foo 42)
   (defconst bar 37)

to introduce different bindings for `t'.  These pseudo-fresh names are
made in such a way that if the macro is expanded again, for example as
part of a simple recompilation, the introduced identifiers get the same
pseudo-fresh names.  See "Hygiene and the Top-Level" in the manual, for

** Fix literal matching for module-bound literals
`syntax-rules' and `syntax-case' macros can take a set of "literals":
bound or unbound keywords that the syntax matcher treats specially.
Before, literals were always matched symbolically (by name).  Now they
are matched by binding.  This allows literals to be reliably bound to
values, renamed by imports or exports, et cetera.  See "Syntax-rules
Macros" in the manual for more on literals.

** Fix bug importing specific bindings with #:select

It used to be that if #:select didn't find a binding in the public
interface of a module, it would actually grovel in the module's
unexported private bindings.  This was not intended and is now fixed.

** Statically scoped module duplicate handlers

It used to be that if a module did not specify a #:duplicates handler,
when a name was first referenced in that module and multiple imported
modules provide that name, the value of the
`default-duplicate-binding-handlers' parameter would be used to resolve
the duplicate bindings.  We have changed so that instead a module
defaults to the set of handlers described in the manual.  If the module
specifies #:duplicates, of course we use that.  The
`default-duplicate-binding-handlers' parameter now simply accesses the
handlers of the current module, instead of some global value.

** Fix too-broad capture of dynamic stack by delimited continuations

Guile was using explicit stacks to represent, for example, the chain of
current exception handlers.  This means that a delimited continuation
that captured a "catch" expression would capture the whole stack of
exception handlers, not just the exception handler added by the "catch".
This led to strangeness when resuming the continuation in some other
context like other threads; "throw" could see an invalid stack of
exception handlers.  This has been fixed by the addition of the new
"fluid-ref*" procedure that can access older values of fluids; in this
way the exception handler stack is now implicit.  See "Fluids and
Dynamic States" in the manual, for more on fluid-ref*.

** `dynamic-wind' doesn't check that guards are thunks

Checking that the dynamic-wind out-guard procedure was actually a thunk
before doing the wind was slow, unreliable, and not strictly needed.

** All deprecated code removed

All code deprecated in Guile 2.0 has been removed.  See older NEWS, and
check that your programs can compile without linker warnings and run
without runtime warnings.  See "Deprecation" in the manual.

** Remove miscellaneous unused interfaces

We have removed accidentally public, undocumented interfaces that we
think are not used, and not useful.  This includes `scm_markstream',
`scm_call_generic_0', `scm_call_generic_1', `scm_call_generic_2'
`scm_call_generic_3', `scm_apply_generic', and `scm_program_source'.
`scm_async_click' was renamed to `scm_async_tick', and `SCM_ASYNC_TICK'
was made private (use `SCM_TICK' instead).

** Many internal compiler / VM changes

As the compiler and virtual machine were re-written, there are many
changes in the back-end of Guile to interfaces that were introduced in
Guile 2.0.  These changes are only only of interest if you wrote a
language on Guile 2.0 or a tool using Guile 2.0 internals.  If this is
the case, drop by the IRC channel to discuss the changes.

** Defining a SMOB or port type no longer mucks exports of `(oop goops)'

It used to be that defining a SMOB or port type added an export to
GOOPS, for the wrapper class of the smob type.  This violated
modularity, though, so we have removed this behavior.

** Bytecode replaces objcode as a target language

One way in which people may have used details of Guile's runtime in
Guile 2.0 is in compiling code to thunks for later invocation.  Instead
of compiling to objcode and then calling `make-program', now the way to
do it is to compile to `bytecode' and then call `load-thunk-from-memory'
from `(system vm loader)'.

** Weak pairs removed

Weak pairs were not safe to access with `car' and `cdr', and so were

** Weak alist vectors removed

Use weak hash tables instead.

** Weak vectors may no longer be accessed via `vector-ref' et al

Weak vectors may no longer be accessed with the vector interface.  This
was a source of bugs in the 2.0 Guile implementation, and a limitation
on using vectors as building blocks for other abstractions.  Vectors in
Guile are now a concrete type; for an abstract interface, use the
generic array facility (`array-ref' et al).

** scm_t_array_implementation removed

This interface was introduced in 2.0 but never documented.  It was a
failed attempt to layer the array implementation that actually
introduced too many layers, as it prevented the "vref" and "vset"
members of scm_t_array_handle (called "ref" and "set" in 1.8, not
present in 2.0) from specializing on array backing stores.

Notably, the definition of scm_t_array_handle has now changed, to not
include the (undocumented) "impl" member.  We are sorry for any
inconvenience this may cause.

** `scm_make' is now equivalent to Scheme `make'

It used to be that `scm_make' only implemented a hard-wired object
allocation and initialization protocol.  This was because `scm_make' was
used while GOOPS booted its own, more complete `make' implementation in
Scheme.  Now that we've re-implemented everything in Scheme, the C
`scm_make' now dispatches directly to Scheme `make', which implements
the full protocol.  This change is incompatible in some ways, but on the
whole is good news for GOOPS users.

** GOOPS slot definitions are now objects

Slot definitions are now instances of a <slot> class, instead of being
specially formatted lists.  To most user code, this is transparent, as
the slot definition accessors like `slot-definition-name' continue to
work.  However, code that for example uses `car' to get the name of a
slot definition will need to be updated to use the accessors.

** Class slot changes

Class objects no longer have a `default-slot-definition-class' slot,
which was never used.  They also no longer have slots for hashsets
(`h0', `h1', and so on up to `h7'), which have been unused since Guile
2.0 and were not a great idea.

There is a new class option, `#:static-slot-allocation?'.  See the
manual for details.

** Removal of internal, unintentionally exposed GOOPS C interfaces

These include: `scm_sys_fast_slot_ref', `scm_sys_fast_slot_set_x'
`scm_basic_basic_make_class', `scm_sys_compute_slots',
`scm_sys_prep_layout_x' `scm_t_method', `SCM_METHOD',
`scm_s_slot_set_x', `SCM_CLASS_CLASS_LAYOUT', `scm_si_slotdef_class',
`scm_si_generic_function', `scm_si_specializers', `scm_si_procedure',
`scm_si_formals', `scm_si_body', `scm_si_make_procedure',
scm_t_debug_info', `scm_pure_generic_p', `SCM_PUREGENERICP',
`SCM_CLASSF_PURE_GENERIC', `scm_c_extend_primitive_generic',
`scm_sys_initialize_object', `SCM_CLASS_CLASS_LAYOUT',
`scm_si_redefined', `scm_si_direct_supers', `scm_si_direct_slots',
`scm_si_direct_subclasses', `scm_si_direct_methods', `scm_si_cpl'
`scm_si_slots', `scm_si_getters_n_setters', `SCM_N_CLASS_SLOTS',
`scm_sys_allocate_instance', and `scm_sys_invalidate_class_x'.

* New deprecations


Instead, use `lseek (fd, 0, SEEK_CUR)' directly.

** `_IONBF', `_IOLBF', and `_IOFBF'

Instead, use the symbol values `none', `line', or `block', respectively,
as arguments to the `setvbuf' function.


Instead, use `lseek (fd, 0, SEEK_CUR)' directly.

** Arbiters

Arbiters were an experimental mutual exclusion facility from 20 years
ago that didn't survive the test of time.  Use mutexes or atomic boxes

** User asyncs

Guile had (and still has) "system asyncs", which are asynchronous
interrupts, and also had this thing called "user asyncs", which was a
trivial unused data structure.  Now that we have deprecated the old
`async', `async-mark', and `run-asyncs' procedures that comprised the
"user async" facility, we have been able to clarify our documentation to
only refer to "asyncs".

** Critical sections

Critical sections have long been just a fancy way to lock a mutex and
defer asynchronous interrupts.  Instead of SCM_CRITICAL_SECTION_START,
make sure you're in a "scm_dynwind_begin (0)" and use
scm_dynwind_pthread_mutex_lock instead, possibly also with

** `scm_make_mutex_with_flags'

Use `scm_make_mutex_with_kind' instead.  See "Mutexes and Condition
Variables" in the manual, for more.

** Dynamic roots

This was a facility that predated threads, was unused as far as we can
tell, and was never documented.  Still, a grep of your code for
dynamic-root or dynamic_root would not be amiss.

** `make-dynamic-state'

Use `current-dynamic-state' to get an immutable copy of the current
fluid-value associations.

** `with-statprof' macro

Use the `statprof' procedure instead.


These macros were used in dispatching primitive generics.  They can be
replaced by using C functions (the same name but in lower case), if
needed, but this is a hairy part of Guile that perhaps you shouldn't be

** scm_compute_applicable_methods and scm_find_method

Use `compute-applicable-methods' from Scheme instead.

** scm_no_applicable_method

Fetch no-applicable-method from the GOOPS exports if you need it.

** scm_class_boolean, scm_class_char, scm_class_pair
** scm_class_procedure, scm_class_string, scm_class_symbol
** scm_class_primitive_generic, scm_class_vector, scm_class_null
** scm_class_real, scm_class_complex, scm_class_integer
** scm_class_fraction, scm_class_unknown, scm_class_top
** scm_class_object, scm_class_class, scm_class_applicable
** scm_class_applicable_struct, scm_class_applicable_struct_with_setter
** scm_class_generic, scm_class_generic_with_setter, scm_class_accessor
** scm_class_extended_generic, scm_class_extended_generic_with_setter
** scm_class_extended_accessor, scm_class_method
** scm_class_accessor_method, scm_class_procedure_class
** scm_class_applicable_struct_class, scm_class_number, scm_class_list
** scm_class_keyword, scm_class_port, scm_class_input_output_port
** scm_class_input_port, scm_class_output_port, scm_class_foreign_slot
** scm_class_self, scm_class_protected, scm_class_hidden
** scm_class_opaque, scm_class_read_only, scm_class_protected_hidden
** scm_class_protected_opaque, scm_class_protected_read_only
** scm_class_scm, scm_class_int, scm_class_float, scm_class_double
** scm_port_class, scm_smob_class

These class exports are now deprecated.  Instead, look up the ones you
need from the GOOPS module, or use `scm_class_of' on particular values.

** scm_get_keyword

Instead from Scheme use kw-arg-ref or real keyword arguments, and from C
use `scm_c_bind_keyword_arguments'.

** scm_slot_ref_using_class, scm_slot_set_using_class_x
** scm_slot_bound_using_class_p, scm_slot_exists_using_class_p

Instead use the normal `scm_slot_ref' and similar procedures.

* Changes to the distribution

** Pre-built binary files in the tarball

Building Guile from a tarball can now take advantage of a "prebuilt/"
tree of prebuilt .go files.  These compiled files are created when a
tarball is made, and are used to speed up the build for users of
official releases.

These pre-built binaries are not necessary, however: they are not stored
in revision control and can always be re-created from the source, given
that Guile can bootstrap itself from its minimal bootstrap C
interpreter.  If you do not want to depend on these pre-built binaries,
you can "make -C prebuilt clean" before building.

** New minor version

The "effective version" of Guile is now 2.2, which allows parallel
installation with other effective versions (for example, the older Guile
2.0).  See "Parallel Installations" in the manual for full details.
Notably, the `pkg-config' file is now `guile-2.2'.

** Bump required libgc version to 7.2, released March 2012.

** GUILE_PROGS searches for versioned Guile

The GUILE_PROGS autoconf macro can take a required version argument.  As
a new change, that version argument is additionally searched for as a
suffix.  For example, GUILE_PROGS(2.2) would look for guile-2.2,
guile2.2, guile-2, guile2, and then guile.  The found prefix is also
applied to guild, guile-config, and the like.  Thanks to Freja Nordsiek
for this work.

** The readline extension is now installed in the extensionsdir

The shared library that implements Guile's readline extension is no
longer installed to the libdir.  This change should be transparent to
users, but packagers may be interested.

                             *  *  *

Here are the compressed sources:   (17MB)   (10MB)   (9MB)

Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:

Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:

Here are the SHA256 checksums:


[*] Use a .sig file 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-2.2.0.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 --recv-keys 

and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
  Autoconf 2.69
  Automake 1.15
  Libtool 2.4.6
  Gnulib v0.1-1157-gb03f418
  Makeinfo 6.3

                             *  *  *

Bonus track!  This release also contains a new experiment, a binary
installation package for the x86_64 architecture.

The GNU Guix project ( has assembled a graph of
package definitions (for example, GCC, glibc, Guile, and so on) and is
able to build that graph in an entirely deterministic way starting
from only a handful of trusted bootstrap binaries.  Guix recently
added a "guix pack" facility that can export build products from a
Guix system, including all run-time dependencies.

We have used the new "guix pack" to generate an experimental binary
distribution for the Guile 2.2.0 release.  If you are on an x86_64
system running GNU/Linux, begin by running the following commands:

  gpg --verify guile-2.2.0-pack-x86_64-linux-gnu.tar.lz.sig

If verification fails, then see above for instructions on how to
import the appropriate GPG key.  For reference, the pack's sha256sum


Then in your root directory -- yes! -- do:

  cd /
  sudo tar xvf path/to/guile-2.2.0-pack-x86_64-linux-gnu.tar.lz

This tarball will extract some paths into /gnu/store and also add a
/opt/guile-2.2.0 symlink.  To run Guile, just invoke:



This binary release was made with the following command:

  guix pack -C lzip -S /opt/guile-2.2.0=/ guile-next glibc-utf8-locales

It was built using Guix development version

Note that if you run that Guile, it will complain about not being able
to install the locale.  Guix, like Scheme, is generally a statically
scoped system, but it dynamically scopes the set of available locales.
That is to say, you have to set
GUIX_LOCPATH=/opt/guile-2.2.0/lib/locale in the environment, for
locales to work.  See the GUIX_LOCPATH docs at
for full details.

Alternately of course you can install Guix and just guix package -i
guile-next.  Guix itself will migrate to 2.2 over the next week or so.

                             *  *  *

We hope you enjoy the release (and the bonus track!).  Happy hacking
with Guile 2.2!

Andy, Ludovic, Mark, and the whole Guile team

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]