Perl Advances onto Android

| by Jeff Martin Follow 11 Followers on Jun 16, 2014. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

A note to our readers: You asked so we have developed a set of features that allow you to reduce the noise: you can get email and web notifications for topics you are interested in. Learn more about our new features.

The Perl language has seen its latest release for the 5.X generation, with the language continuing to add new functionality and support for new platforms.  The steady refinements demonstrate how Perl continues to make itself useful in numerous production environments. 

Notably included with 5.20.0 is support for Android, Synology NAS boxes, and the Atari ST.  Android users can build Perl for Android natively or through cross-compilation with 3 CPU architectures currently supported: ARM, MIPS, and X86.  Perl 5.20.0 will run on Atari ST systems using the FreeMiNT operating system, demonstrating the language's ability to continute to spread to new environments.

This release is packed with various bug fixes, performance improvements, and deprecations. A sample of whats new includes:

  • Perl is compiled with Unicode 6.3 support by default (can be recompiled for a previous Unicode release if needed)
  • Consistent random number generator
    • While not cryptographically secure, this new random number generator is now consistent across platforms (Windows, Linux, etc)
  • Improved locale support for UTF-8 locales
  • New slice syntax for arrays and hashes
  • Better 64-bit support that allows arrays to utilize larger memory amounts when available
  • Security fix – A fix has been made to negate the possibility of reading  free()d memory during parsing
  • Deprecations
    • The use of interpreter based threads is now discouraged as intended performance gains have not been realized
  • Performance
    • Copy-on-write utilization for faster copying of large strings
    • First iteration over a large hash is faster because it’s internal iterator state is now pre-allocated

Full details of this lengthy release are available via the Perl delta release notes.

If you would like to try out this release of Perl without affecting your system’s Perl installation, consider using the Perlbrew utility.  It doesn’t require admin (root) access and allows you to run Perl locally without affecting system scripts or introducing unforeseen incompatibilities.

Rate this Article

Adoption Stage

Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or or login to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Tell us what you think

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread
Community comments

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread


Login to InfoQ to interact with what matters most to you.

Recover your password...


Follow your favorite topics and editors

Quick overview of most important highlights in the industry and on the site.


More signal, less noise

Build your own feed by choosing topics you want to read about and editors you want to hear from.


Stay up-to-date

Set up your notifications and don't miss out on content that matters to you