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MoarVM 2017.03

Corrects semantics of comparing strings ignoring case, and adds a new case-insensitive string index op. Fixes a parallel GC bug that led to a range of crashes. Improves error handling in asynchronous process spawning. Adds a range of missing bounds checks. And includes many other assorted fixes spanning JIT compilation, out-of-memory handling, profiling, and more.

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What is MoarVM?

Short for "Metamodel On A Runtime", MoarVM is a virtual machine built especially for Rakudo Perl 6 and the NQP Compiler Toolchain. It uses dynamic optimization techniques to detect hot code and produce specialized versions for the types that show up at runtime. The most popular backend for Rakudo Perl 6, MoarVM stands out by:

  • Running the Perl 6 specification test suite in the least time
  • Passing more of the Perl 6 specification tests than Rakudo Perl 6 on other backends
  • Having the lowest memory usage
  • Having the best startup time
  • Being fastest to build both NQP and Rakudo - and thus your Perl 6 and NQP programs too!
  • Being the only backend to support strings at grapheme level

For long-running workloads where startup time doesn't matter and you need tried-and-tested threading support, Rakudo on the JVM may be a better bet. It may also - once the slow startup is overcome - win on performance for some workloads, once its sophisticated JIT compiler gets to work. MoarVM is under active development in these areas, and the gap continues to close.