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Changes since Pike 7.4: 
---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
New/improved functionality: 
--------------------------- 
 
o fewer magical hacks 
    Several Pike modules have been cleaned up from old hacks and 
    workarounds for problems which now have proper solutions. This 
    should reduce size, and improve performance, dumpability and 
    readability of the affected code. In addition lots of internal 
    types in Pike have been tightened up and several more files now 
    use the pragma strict_types, which has helped locating and fixing 
    some previously undiscovered bugs. 
 
o garbage collection strategy is now configurable 
    The garbage collector can now be configured to take both the amount 
    of garbage and the cpu time spent in the gc into account. Automatic 
    garbage collections can also be disabled in critical regions. (Use 
    the function Pike.gc_parameters for this.) 
 
o hash() modified 
    The string hash functions are now byte-order independent. The old 
    hash function is available as hash_7_4 or as hash when running in 
    7.4 compatibility mode or lower. 
 
o --help 
    The Pike --help message has been improved, and it is possible to 
    retrieve further information about options and environment 
    variables. In addition, most of the tools and build scripts now 
    accept --help and describes what they do and what options they 
    take. 
 
o INT64 
    On 64 bit architechtures Pike will now use full 64 bits integer 
    before resorting to Gmp.mpz objects for large numbers. 
 
o IPv6 
    Networking code in Pike has been updated to work with IPv6. This 
    includes both low-level fixes in the socket handling as well as 
    high-level changes such as IP parsing and protocol additions such 
    as AAAA records in Protocol.DNS. 
 
o module system improved 
    Both dynamic and static modules now appears as objects, and they both 
    support having an identifier _module_value, which will then be 
    what is presented by the resolver as the module. _module_value can 
    be a constant, which will prevent the program from being automatically 
    cloned. 
 
o mysqls 
    The Mysql glue can operate over SSL, providing additional data 
    security. Use the "mysqls://" protocol in the Sql.Sql module to 
    access this feature. 
 
o reworked codec 
    The codec for serialization of Pike data types has been updated 
    and has a significally improved success rate at encoding modules. 
    (See the encode_value and decode_value functions.) 
 
o sort() is portable 
    Sort is now locale and platform independent. In other words, 
    strings are now compared only according to the unicode value of 
    every character. 
 
o sort() is stable 
    Unlike previous releases, sort() will keep the original order 
    of elements that are equal. At first, we considered keeping the old 
    sort function in parallel with the new one, as a "faster but 
    unstable" alternative, but it turned out that there was no noticable 
    different in speed between the new and the old function. 
 
o trace() can trace all threads 
    The configure option --without-thread-trace has been removed, but 
    instead the trace() function has been extended to make it possible 
    to set the trace level in all threads simultaneously. 
 
o unbug 
    The Pike debugger unbug has been significtly optimized. 
 
o Unicode 
    Pike 7.6 uses the Unicode 4.0.1 tables for case info and 
    normalization. 
 
o upper_case() and lower_case() extended 
    The built-in functions upper_case and lower_case now also works on 
    single characters represented as integers. 
 
o #warning 
    A new The Pike preprocessor directive #warning has been added. It 
    simply writes the rest of the line to stderr. 
 
 
The Pike master: 
---------------- 
 
o The new option --dumpversion prints out the Pike version in a more 
  easily parsed way than --version. 
 
o The master now supplies argv to the started application, so it can 
  use the create() method for execution. Some people find it a more 
  elegant solution than having a main function. 
 
o The "-e" flag to Pike has been improved with a number of convenience 
  wrappers. When compiling code with "pike -e", the macro NOT(X) will 
  expand to !(X) and CHAR(X) to 'X', making it easier to solve quote 
  problems from a shell. If the return from a pike -e statement is a 
  positive integer it will be used as pikes exit code. If the return 
  value is a string it will be output (with a "\n" added, if the string 
  didn't already end in "\n"). Finally there is a predefined variable 
  env that contains the environment variables as a string:string mapping. 
 
 
Building and installing pike: 
----------------------------- 
 
o To simplify the process of building Pike source distributions it is 
  now possible to bundle less common libraries such as Nettle with 
  Pike. The bundles, found in the "bundles" directory, will be compiled 
  and statically linked if no matching library is found on the system. 
 
o The Pike build process no longer builds a bootstrap pike, used to 
  run various small programs to generate source files. This means that 
  in order to build Pike from CVS you need the latest major version of 
  Pike installed on your system. Pike source distributions contain 
  these generated files, and are not affected. 
 
o By default, pike want to build a documentation source file, i.e. 
  "make && make doc && make install". This makes it possible for third 
  party modules to integrate its documentation into the system Pike 
  documentation. If you do not want to build a documentation source 
  file, use "make install_nodoc" instead of "make install". 
 
 
Changes and additions to -x utilities: 
-------------------------------------- 
 
o benchmark 
    A set of benchmarks is available in the benchmark tool. They are 
    based on the Great Computer Language Shootout, but have been 
    modified to make more sense in the context of Pike, and to test 
    various aspects of Pike we suspect (or at least at one time 
    suspected) to have bad performance. 
 
o cgrep 
    Context sensitive grep is very helpful when you are looking for 
    substrings that are common. The implemented search modes are: 
      o Complete token 
      o Part of a token 
      o Complete string literal 
      o Part of a string literal 
      o Part of a comment 
 
    Example: 
      $ cd Pike/7.6/src 
      $ grep or * | wc -l 
      18907 
      $ pike -x cgrep -T or * | wc -l 
      14 
 
o dump 
    Dumps Pike .pike and .pmod module files to precompiled .o files 
    for shorter load times. Previously available as 
    src/dumpmodule.pike in the Pike source tree, but moved into the 
    Pike builtin tools to facilitate dumping of external modules. 
 
o extract_locale 
    Locale extractor utility used to extract localizable strings from 
    an application into an xml format, to later be used by the Locale 
    module. 
 
o monger 
    A new utility to download, install and otherwise manage external 
    modules from the Fresh Pike project (modules.gotpike.com). 
 
o rsif 
    rsif can now work recursively in a file structure if given the 
    flag -r or --recursive. Example: 
      pike -x rsif -r 7.4 7.6 
 
 
 
New modules / classes / methods added: 
-------------------------------------- 
 
o ADT.BitBuffer 
    When operating on data formats that are defined on bit level, the 
    ADT.BitBuffer presents a convenient interface. It operates as a 
    FIFO buffer on bit level, which allows you to read and write bits 
    and bytes. 
 
      > ADT.BitBuffer b=ADT.BitBuffer(); 
      > b->put1(2); 
      (1) Result: ADT.BitBuffer(11) 
      > b->put0(15); 
      (2) Result: ADT.BitBuffer("À\0"0) 
      > b->drain(); 
      (3) Result: "À\0" 
      > sizeof(b); 
      (4) Result: 1 
 
o ADT.CircularList 
    This is an circular list implemented as a C wrapper around an 
    array. It has a constant time complexity for pop and push. It has 
    a limited max size but it can be increased manually by calling the 
    allocate() method. It supports pushing, popping and peeking at both 
    ends of the list, as well as removing and insering elements at any 
    position in the list. 
 
o ADT.Sequence 
    The sequence work similar to an array but has the ability to 
    insert and remove elements at any position. It also has functions 
    to retrieve iterators for forward and backward iteration over the 
    elements in the sequence. 
 
o ADT.Struct 
    This module makes it possible to work with binary formats of the 
    "packed struct" type. Simply create a class inheriting ADT.Struct, 
    specify its members in order, create an object with a file object 
    as argument, and then read the decoded values from the object as 
    ordinary variables. An example, reading ID3 metadata headers from 
    an MP3 file: 
 
      class ID3 { 
        inherit ADT.Struct; 
        Item head = Chars(3); 
        Item title = Chars(30); 
        Item artist = Chars(30); 
        Item album = Chars(30); 
        Item year = Chars(4); 
        Item comment = Chars(30); 
        Item genre = Byte(); 
      } 
 
      Stdio.File f = Stdio.File("foo.mp3"); 
      f->seek(-128); 
      ADT.Struct tag = ID3(f); 
      if(tag->head=="TAG") { 
        write("Title: %s\n", tag->title); 
        tag->title = "A new title" + "\0"*19; 
        f->seek(-128); 
        f->write( (string)tag ); 
      } 
 
o Array 
    The Array module has been extended with Array.all and Array.any 
    which determine if all or any of the elements in an array meet a 
    given condition. The function Array.partition has also been added, 
    which divides the elements of an array into two arrays, selected 
    according to a given condition. 
 
o Bz2 
    Support for the compression format used by the bzip2 program. The 
    module interface is almost identical to that of the Gz module. 
 
o Calendar module 
    The %S format was added to Calendar.parse() to parse seconds since 
    the Epoch. The TimeRange class is extended with a format method 
    format_commonlog(), a tzname_utc_offset (+HHMM) and 
    tzname_location(), which, when available, returns zone names like 
    "Europe/Stockholm". The database has been updated with Swedish 
    pre-1901 namedays and Finnish namedays. 
 
o Crypto/Nettle 
    The crypto module has been almost completely rewritten, and now 
    uses libnettle as backend instead of the built-in crypto 
    algorithms that Pike had before. This way Pike will benefit from 
    the more active development and optimization work in the Nettle 
    project. The most common hash and cipher methods are already 
    written in assembler for several platforms. As an example SHA1 is 
    about 40% faster than before on Intel platforms. 
 
    With the new nettle support comes support for two new cipher 
    algorithms, Blowfish and Serpent, and the new NIST hash algorithm 
    SHA256. Note that the new Crypto module has renamed its 
    identifiers to be consistent with the rest of Pike, and in some 
    cases to clarify or correct bad names. The old names still work, 
    but produce a warning unless Pike is run in compatibility mode. 
    Compatibility outside compatibility mode will be removed in the 
    future. 
 
    The interfaces for the hash and cipher algorithms have been 
    improved, and no longer only conform to predefined interfaces, 
    but actually inherits Hash/HashState and Cipher/CipherState. Every 
    algorithm is in itself a module in the Crypto module, and inherits 
    the Hash/Cipher class. This module contains instance non-specific 
    methods such as digest_size or key_size. By calling the `() method 
    in the module a HashState/CipherState object is returned, which is 
    a hash/cipher instance which can be used for streaming operations. 
 
    Examples: 
 
      Crypto.MD5.hash("Hash this string"); 
 
      Crypto.MD5()->update("Hash this ")->update("string")->digest(); 
 
    The confusing and hard-to-use Crypto.randomness has been obsoleted 
    by the Nettle implementation of the Yarrow random generator. The 
    Nettle implementation of Yarrow uses AES and SHA256. The 
    Crypto.Random module acts as a frontend before system crypto 
    sources, and ensure that almost no matter how bad your OS is, you 
    will still get cryptographically strong random data. 
 
o Crypto.PGP 
    The start of a PGP/GPG toolkit. It still cannot handle all types 
    of signatures nor generate any, but it is useful to verify 
    selfsigned code and data. 
 
o Debug.Wrapper 
    A simple litte wrapper that can be placed around another object to 
    get printouts about what is happening to it. Only a few LFUNs are 
    currently supported. 
 
      > object x=Debug.Wrapper(Crypto.MD5()); 
      Debug.Wrapper is proxying ___Nettle.MD5_State() 
      > x->name(); 
      ___Nettle.MD5_State()->name 
      (1) Result: "md5" 
      > !x; 
      !___Nettle.MD5_State() 
      (2) Result: 0 
 
 
o Error 
    The root of the Pike exception hiearchy. Even though it is work 
    in progress, it is already usable. 
 
      > mixed err = catch( 1/0 ); 
      > err; 
      (1) Result: Error.Math("Division by zero.\n") 
      > object_program(err)==Error.Math; 
      (2) Result: 1 
 
o EXIF 
    The EXIF module is now much more robust than before, and can handle 
    some of the erroneous EXIF tags some cameras procduce. Extended 
    support for Nikon cameras. 
 
o Filesystem.Traversion 
    The Filesystem.Traversion iterator is a handy way to descend into 
    a directory structure (depth first) and perform actions on all or 
    some of the files. 
 
    Example: 
 
      foreach(Filesystem.Traversion("."); string dir; string file) 
        if(file[-1]=='~' || file=="core") rm(dir+file); 
 
o Float 
    Here constants and functions that deal specifically with the 
    float data type is stored. Currently, it only contains various 
    constants that describe the precision and limitations of the float 
    type with which Pike was compiled. 
 
o Function 
    The Function module has been extended with the fixpoint combinator 
    "Y", useful when writing recursive lambdas, a curry function, to 
    partially evaluate a function call, and a callback caller function 
    that protects the caller from exceptions in the callback function. 
 
o Geography 
    The Geography.Position object can now also convert to and from the 
    Swedish RT38 (Rikets Triangulering 1938) position format. 
 
o GLUE 
    The GL Universal Environment is a GL toolkit that makes 
    implementing GL applications in Pike really simple. GLUE has 
    several orthogonal components like object oriented encapsulation 
    of GL, drawing primitives, texture handling and text generation. 
    The most fundamental part is however an abstract interface to a 
    GL area driver, like GTK or SDL. 
 
      int main() { 
        GLUE.init(); 
        draw_frame(); 
        return -1; 
      } 
       
      void draw_frame() { 
        call_out(draw_frame, 0.02); // 1/(50 fps) 
        do_gl_code(); 
        GLUE.swap_buffers(); 
      } 
 
o Image.NEO 
    Support for one of the major image formats on Atari ST/STE, 
    including decoding of color cycling. The C bitmap and palette 
    handler can be used to implement other atari image formats. 
 
o Int 
    The Int module contains a few functions and constants that deal 
    specifically with the integer data type. Currently it contains 
    parity and byte swapping functions, and constants for the system 
    maxint and minint. 
 
o Pike.Security 
    Functions and classes that deal with the Pike security system 
    (requires Pike to be compiled with --with-security to be present) 
    are stored in this module. Beware that the Pike security system is 
    still very experimental. 
 
o Process.Process 
    The Process.Process class is extended to handle a time-out 
    callback and a read callback, to make it easier to manage 
    processes in an asynchronous way. 
 
o Protocols.Bittorrent 
    This is a Pike implementation of the client side of the popular 
    Bittorrent protocol. Both creating torrent files and seeding as 
    well as downloading and verifying files are supported. There are 
    also several functions to retreive auxillary information such as 
    identifying the other peer clients. 
 
o Protocols.HTTP.Session 
    Handles an HTTP connection as a session, with cookies, redirects, 
    HTTP keep-alive, etc. 
 
o Protocols.LMTP/Protocols.SMTP 
    Protocols.LMTP implements a server for the Local Mail Transfer 
    Protocol, LMTP, as specified in RFC2033. This module has been well 
    tested against Postfix clients. Protocols.LMTP is based on a new 
    server implementation in Protocols.SMTP. 
 
o Protocols.OBEX 
    An implementation of the IrDA(R) Object Exchange Protocol. OBEX is 
    a protocol for sending and receiving binary objects to mobile 
    devices using transports such as IR and Bluetooth. 
 
o Regexp.PCRE added to give libpcre support. 
    Are you a closet perler? For those who missed the richer flora of 
    regexp syntax that Perl supports, the Perl Compatible Regular 
    Expression module is the answer. If you compile libpcre with UTF-8 
    support you will also get transparent wide string support. Several 
    convenience functions are also added to the Regexp module to 
    enable easier access to regular expressions. 
 
o SSL 
    Large parts of the SSL module have been rewritten, either as part 
    of the rewrite of the Crypto module or in an attempt to fix various 
    issues regarding blocking/nonblocking files, threads, etc. 
 
o Standards.IDNA 
    This module implements various algorithms specified by the 
    Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) memo by the 
    Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), RFC 3490. Your most likely 
    apllication of this will be the encoding and decoding of punycode: 
 
      Standards.IDNA.Punycode.encode("räksmörgås"); 
 
 
o Thread 
    Thread.Fifo and Thread.Queue have been extended with try_* 
    varieties of all functions that can block, and with functions that 
    make them both implement the same interface. Both also have 
    fallbacks for running in nonthreaded mode. 
 
o Web.RDF/RDFS/OWL/RSS 
    Pike now has support for the W3C semantic web formats OWL, RDF 
    and RDFS, which are used for expressing structure and metadata 
    information. There is also some support for the syndication 
    format RSS (which happens to be a simple application of RDF). 
 
    This sample program reads an OWL file, parses the dataset 
    contained in it, and then lists the data classes in that 
    dataset: 
 
      int main(int argc, array argv) 
      { 
        object owlset = Web.OWL(); 
        string input = Stdio.read_file(argv[1]); 
        owlset->parse_owl(input); 
 
        write("Classes:\n"); 
 
        foreach(owlset->find_statements(0, 
                                        owlset->rdf_type, 
                                        owlset->owl_Class); 
                               array statement) 
          write("- %O\n", statement[0]); 
 
       return 0; 
     }   
 
 
Optimizations: 
-------------- 
 
o Instantiation and destruction of pike classes is now significantly 
  faster. 
 
o Handling of bignums has been optimized, especially conversion 
  to/from normal integers. 
 
o String case conversion is now five times faster than before on 
  average. 
 
 
Compatibility changes: 
---------------------- 
 
o Incompatible changes has been made in ADT.Heap, Array.diff3_old, 
  Crypto, Locale.Charset, Protocols.SMTP, SSL, Sql.sql, 
  Standards.ASN1, Standards.PKCS, Stdio.File, Thread.Mutex and 
  rusage(). Please refer to the 7.4 namespace in the compatibility 
  section of the documentation for a complete description of these 
  changes. Using #pike 7.4 or starting Pike with -V7.4 activates the 
  compatibility layer, which should make it possible to run old code 
  with newer pikes. 
 
 
Compatibility changes without backward compatibility: 
----------------------------------------------------- 
 
o Module ABI changed 
  The pike_frame struct has a new member, which makes modules compiled 
  with Pike 7.4, and earlier versions of Pike, incompatible with Pike 7.6. 
 
 
C level/development changes: 
---------------------------- 
 
o The security.h include file is renamed to pike_security.h 
 
o The testsuite has three new, handy macros: cond_resolv, 
  test_program_eq and test_program_equal, all defined in mktestsuite. A 
  testsuite test that produces a warning, unless it is a test_warning 
  test, will now be considered an error. The test program can now run 
  testsuites in forked processes. By default every testsuite file will 
  now be run in a forked process. If a directory named extra_tests 
  exists on the top level of the Pike source directory, that directory 
  will also be recursed for testsuite.in files. 
 
o The cmod API has been extended in many details, making it easier to 
  work with. Variable declarations may now use the object(programname) 
  syntax. Void in parameters may be 0. Varargs and optional arguments 
  are now typechecked properly. It is possible to INHERIT a program 
  into a PIKECLASS. It is possible to set attributes on a PIKEVAR. A 
  program may be flagged as a prototype, which will make the function 
  bodies to be ignored. It is also possible to set program flags, such 
  as PROGRAM_DESTRUCT_IMMEDIATE. See bin/precompile.pike for 
  documentation. 
 
o The make file has a few new targets that should be self explanatory: 
  gdb_hilfe, valgrind_hilfe and valgrind_verify. 
 
o The header file module_magic.h is deprecated. Use the 
  PIKE_MODULE_INIT and PIKE_MODULE_EXIT macros in your modules 
  instead. 
 
o The backend has a new interface to handle references from backend 
  objects to callbacks in files.