GNU Guile 2.0.0 released

We are pleased to announce GNU Guile release 2.0.0, the first of a new
stable series and the result of almost 3 years of work. It provides
many new noteworthy features, most notably the addition of a compiler
and virtual machine.

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
processing.

Guile can run interactively, as a script interpreter, and as a Scheme
compiler to VM bytecode suitable for stand-alone applications. 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.

Here are the compressed sources:
ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/guile/guile-2.0.0.tar.gz (5.4MB)

Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:
ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/guile/guile-2.0.0.tar.gz.sig

To reduce load on the main server, use a mirror listed at:
http://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html

Here are the MD5 and SHA1 checksums:

4f91ca29077aca32e1e28f70220dfd9b guile-2.0.0.tar.gz
e266b79b17a04a98c438e9d5dabb5210fb368d77 guile-2.0.0.tar.gz

[*] 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-2.0.0.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 keys.gnupg.net –recv-keys 5E674E63

and rerun the `gpg –verify’ command.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
Autoconf 2.68
Automake 1.11.1
Libtool 2.4
Gnulib v0.0-4889-ge375fe3

The detailed list of changes compared to the 1.8.x series is available
in the `NEWS’ file with links to the relevant parts of the manual.
Since it is very long, here is a very condensed form.

Highlights of changes in 2.0.0 (since the 1.8.x release series):

* New compiler infrastructure and VM

Guile 2.0 compiles Scheme code to bytecode, which is then interpreted
by the VM. This gives a noticeable performance improvement compared
to earlier Guile series.

By default source code is compiled automatically as it is encountered,
without any manual intervention. The “guile-tools compile” command
provides a command-line interface, and there are also Scheme
procedures to drive the compiler.

Besides Scheme, the compiler comes with front-ends for the ECMAScript
and Emacs Lisp languages.

* New REPL, new debugger

A read-eval-print-loop (REPL) is available. Compared to the REPL in
earlier releases, it supports “meta-commands” that provide convenient
access to interactive programming features. For instance, the
“,compile” meta-command compiles the given expression, “,profile”
shows an execution profile of the given expression, etc.

Any error or uncaught exception leads to a “recursive REPL”, which is
a REPL augmented with debugging capabilities: it has meta-commands to
display a backtrace, inspect the variables on a stack frame, etc. The
recursive REPL can be quit to return to the original one.

* Support for hygienic macros

The `syntax-rules’ and `syntax-case’ hygienic macro systems are
supported natively by Guile, without importing `(ice-9 syncase)’, and
work across module boundaries. They are a better replacement for
`defmacro’.

* Unicode support

Scheme strings can hold any Unicode character, and ports can read and
write Unicode text in various encodings.

* Partial R6RS compatibility

The `library’ and `import’ forms of R6RS are supported, and all the
R6RS libraries defined in the standard are available. See “R6RS
Incompatibilities” in the manual, for details about remaining
incompatibilities.

* New dynamic foreign function interface

The `(system foreign)’ module provides a new dynamic foreign function
interface (FFI). It allows bindings to C libraries to be written
without a single line of C code.

* Switch to the Boehm-Demers-Weiser garbage collector

Guile now uses the Boehm-Demers-Weiser conservative garbage collector
(aka. libgc). It makes interaction with C code easier making, for
instance, the use of mark and free SMOB procedures optional in many
cases. It also improves performance.

* New modules

** `(srfi srfi-18)’, more sophisticated multithreading support
** `(srfi srfi-27)’, sources of random bits
** `(srfi srfi-38)’, External Representation for Data With Shared Structure
** `(srfi srfi-42)’, eager comprehensions
** `(srfi srfi-45)’, primitives for expressing iterative lazy algorithms
** `(srfi srfi-67)’, compare procedures
** `(ice-9 i18n)’, internationalization support
** `(ice-9 futures)’, fine-grain parallelism
** `(rnrs bytevectors)’, the R6RS bytevector API
** `(rnrs io ports)’, a subset of the R6RS I/O port API
** `(system xref)’, a cross-referencing facility (FIXME undocumented)
** `(ice-9 vlist)’, lists with constant-time random access; hash lists
** `(system foreign)’, foreign function interface
** `(sxml …)’, tools for XML processing
** `(texinfo …)’, parsing and production of Texinfo documents
** `(sxml match)’, a pattern matcher for SXML
** `(srfi srfi-9 gnu)’, extensions to the SRFI-9 record library
** `(system vm coverage)’, a line-by-line code coverage library
** `(web …)’, modules for URI and HTTP handling
** `(ice-9 poll)’, a poll wrapper
** `(system base lalr)’, the `lalr-scm’ LALR(1) parser generator
** `(statprof)’, statistical profiler

* New dependencies

** libgc 7.x, http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Hans_Boehm/gc/
** GNU libunistring, http://www.gnu.org/software/libunistring/
** libffi, http://sourceware.org/libffi/

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 2.1.x.

Guile versions with an odd middle number, e.g., 2.1.*, are unstable
development versions. Even middle numbers indicate stable versions.
This has been the case since the 1.3.* series.

Please report bugs to `bug-guile@gnu.org’. We also welcome reports of
successful builds, which can be sent to the same email address.

Ludovic Courtès, on behalf of the Guile team.

Comments are closed.