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perl5113delta - what is new for perl v5.11.3


This document describes differences between the 5.11.2 release and the 5.11.3 release.

If you are upgrading from an earlier release such as 5.11.1, first read the perl5112delta, which describes differences between 5.11.1 and 5.11.2

Incompatible Changes

Filehandles are blessed directly into IO::Handle , as FileHandle is merely a wrapper around IO::Handle .

The previous behaviour was to bless Filehandles into FileHandle (an empty proxy class) if it was loaded into memory and otherwise to bless them into IO::Handle .

Core Enhancements

Unicode version

Perl is shipped with the latest Unicode version, 5.2, dated October 2009. See for details about this release of Unicode. See perlunicode for instructions on installing and using older versions of Unicode.

Unicode properties

Perl can now handle every Unicode character property. A new pod, perluniprops, lists all available non-Unihan character properties. By default the Unihan properties and certain others (deprecated and Unicode internal-only ones) are not exposed. See below for more details on these; there is also a section in the pod listing them, and why they are not exposed.

Perl now fully supports the Unicode compound-style of using = and : in writing regular expressions: \p{property=value} and \p{property:value} (both of which mean the same thing).

Perl now fully supports the Unicode loose matching rules for text between the braces in \p{...} constructs. In addition, Perl also allows underscores between digits of numbers.

All the Unicode-defined synonyms for properties and property values are now accepted.

qr/\X/, which matches a Unicode logical character, has been expanded to work better with various Asian languages. It now is defined as an extended grapheme cluster . (See Anything matched previously that made sense will continue to be matched. But in addition:

  • \X will now not break apart a CR LF sequence.

  • \X will now match a sequence including the ZWJ and ZWNJ characters.

  • \X will now always match at least one character, including an initial mark. Marks generally come after a base character, but it is possible in Unicode to have them in isolation, and \X will now handle that case, for example at the beginning of a line or after a ZWSP . And this is the part where \X doesn't match the things that it used to that don't make sense. Formerly, for example, you could have the nonsensical case of an accented LF.

  • \X will now match a (Korean) Hangul syllable sequence, and the Thai and Lao exception cases.

Otherwise, this change should be transparent for the non-affected languages.

\p{...} matches using the Canonical_Combining_Class property were completely broken in previous Perls. This is now fixed.

In previous Perls, the Unicode Decomposition_Type=Compat property and a Perl extension had the same name, which led to neither matching all the correct values (with more than 100 mistakes in one, and several thousand in the other). The Perl extension has now been renamed to be Decomposition_Type=Noncanonical (short: dt=noncanon ). It has the same meaning as was previously intended, namely the union of all the non-canonical Decomposition types, with Unicode Compat being just one of those.

\p{Uppercase} and \p{Lowercase} have been brought into line with the Unicode definitions. This means they each match a few more characters than previously.

\p{Cntrl} now matches the same characters as \p{Control} . This means it no longer will match Private Use (gc=co), Surrogates (gc=cs), nor Format (gc=cf) code points. The Format code points represent the biggest possible problem. All but 36 of them are either officially deprecated or strongly discouraged from being used. Of those 36, likely the most widely used are the soft hyphen (U+00AD), and BOM, ZWSP, ZWNJ, WJ, and similar, plus Bi-directional controls.

\p{Alpha} now matches the same characters as \p{Alphabetic} . The Perl definition included a number of things that aren't really alpha (all marks), while omitting many that were. As a direct consequence, the definitions of \p{Alnum} and \p{Word} which depend on Alpha also change.

\p{Word} also now doesn't match certain characters it wasn't supposed to, such as fractions.

\p{Print} no longer matches the line control characters: Tab, LF, CR, FF, VT, and NEL. This brings it in line with the documentation.

\p{Decomposition_Type=Canonical} now includes the Hangul syllables.

The Numeric type property has been extended to include the Unihan characters.

There is a new Perl extension, the 'Present_In', or simply 'In', property. This is an extension of the Unicode Age property, but \p{In=5.0} matches any code point whose usage has been determined as of Unicode version 5.0. The \p{Age=5.0} only matches code points added in precisely version 5.0.

A number of properties did not have the correct values for unassigned code points. This is now fixed. The affected properties are Bidi_Class, East_Asian_Width, Joining_Type, Decomposition_Type, Hangul_Syllable_Type, Numeric_Type, and Line_Break.

The Default_Ignorable_Code_Point, ID_Continue, and ID_Start properties have been updated to their current Unicode definitions.

Certain properties that are supposed to be Unicode internal-only were erroneously exposed by previous Perls. Use of these in regular expressions will now generate, if enabled, a deprecated warning message. The properties are: Other_Alphabetic, Other_Default_Ignorable_Code_Point, Other_Grapheme_Extend, Other_ID_Continue, Other_ID_Start, Other_Lowercase, Other_Math, and Other_Uppercase.

An installation can now fairly easily change which Unicode properties Perl understands. As mentioned above, certain properties are by default turned off. These include all the Unihan properties (which should be accessible via the CPAN module Unicode::Unihan) and any deprecated or Unicode internal-only property that Perl has never exposed.

The generated files in the lib/unicore/To directory are now more clearly marked as being stable, directly usable by applications. New hash entries in them give the format of the normal entries, which allows for easier machine parsing. Perl can generate files in this directory for any property, though most are suppressed. An installation can choose to change which get written. Instructions are in perluniprops.

Regular Expressions

U+0FFFF is now a legal character in regular expressions.

Modules and Pragmata

Pragmata Changes

  • constant

    Upgraded from version 1.19 to 1.20.

  • diagnostics

    This pragma no longer suppresses Use of uninitialized value in range (or flip) warnings. [perl #71204]

  • feature

    Upgraded from 1.13 to 1.14. Added the unicode_strings feature:

    1. use feature "unicode_strings";

    This pragma turns on Unicode semantics for the case-changing operations (uc/lc/ucfirst/lcfirst) on strings that don't have the internal UTF-8 flag set, but that contain single-byte characters between 128 and 255.

  • legacy

    The experimental legacy pragma, introduced in 5.11.2, has been removed, and its functionality replaced by the new feature pragma, use feature "unicode_strings" .

  • threads

    Upgraded from version 1.74 to 1.75.

  • warnings

    Upgraded from 1.07 to 1.08. Added new warnings::fatal_enabled() function.

Updated Modules

  • Archive::Extract

    Upgraded from version 0.34 to 0.36.

  • CPAN

    Upgraded from version 1.94_51 to 1.94_5301, which is 1.94_53 on CPAN plus some local fixes for bleadperl.

    Includes better bzip2 support, improved FirstTime experience with auto-selection of CPAN mirrors, proper handling of modules removed from the Perl core, and an updated 'cpan' utility script


    Upgraded from version 0.89_09 to 0.90.

  • Encode

    Upgraded from version 2.38 to 2.39.

  • ExtUtils::MakeMaker

    Upgraded from version 6.55_02 to 6.56. Adds new BUILD_REQUIRES key to indicate build-only prerequisites. Also adds support for mingw64 and the new "package NAME VERSION" syntax.

  • File::Path

    Upgraded from version 2.08 to 2.08_01.

  • Module::Build

    Upgraded from version 0.35_09 to 0.36. Compared to 0.35, this version has a new 'installdeps' action, supports the PERL_MB_OPT environment variable, adds a 'share_dir' property for File::ShareDir support, support the "package NAME VERSION" syntax and has many other enhancements and bug fixes. The 'passthrough' style of Module::Build::Compat has been deprecated.

  • Module::CoreList

    Upgraded from version 2.23 to 2.24.


    Upgraded from version 1.18 to 1.19. Error codes for getaddrinfo() and getnameinfo() are now available.

  • Pod::Simple

    Upgraded from version 3.10 to 3.13.

  • Safe

    Upgraded from version 2.19 to 2.20.

Utility Changes

  • perlbug

    No longer reports "Message sent" when it hasn't actually sent the message

Changes to Existing Documentation

The Pod specification (perlpodspec) has been updated to bring the specification in line with modern usage already supported by most Pod systems. A parameter string may now follow the format name in a "begin/end" region. Links to URIs with a text description are now allowed. The usage of L<"section"> has been marked as deprecated. has been documented in use as a means to get conditional loading of modules despite the implicit BEGIN block around use.

Installation and Configuration Improvements

Testing improvements

  • It's now possible to override PERL5OPT and friends in t/TEST

Platform Specific Changes

  • Win32
    • Always add a manifest resource to perl.exe to specify the trustInfo settings for Windows Vista and later. Without this setting Windows will treat perl.exe as a legacy application and apply various heuristics like redirecting access to protected file system areas (like the "Program Files" folder) to the users "VirtualStore" instead of generating a proper "permission denied" error.

      For VC8 and VC9 this manifest setting is automatically generated by the compiler/linker (together with the binding information for their respective runtime libraries); for all other compilers we need to embed the manifest resource explicitly in the external resource file.

      This change also requests the Microsoft Common-Controls version 6.0 (themed controls introduced in Windows XP) via the dependency list in the assembly manifest. For VC8 and VC9 this is specified using the /manifestdependency linker commandline option instead.

  • cygwin
    • Enable IPv6 support on cygwin 1.7 and newer
  • OpenVMS
    • Make -UDEBUGGING the default on VMS for 5.12.0.

      Like it has been everywhere else for ages and ages. Also make command-line selection of -UDEBUGGING and -DDEBUGGING work in; before the only way to turn it off was by saying no in answer to the interactive question.

Selected Bug Fixes

  • Ensure that pp_qr returns a new regexp SV each time. Resolves RT #69852.

    Instead of returning a(nother) reference to the (pre-compiled) regexp in the optree, use reg_temp_copy() to create a copy of it, and return a reference to that. This resolves issues about Regexp::DESTROY not being called in a timely fashion (the original bug tracked by RT #69852), as well as bugs related to blessing regexps, and of assigning to regexps, as described in correspondence added to the ticket.

    It transpires that we also need to undo the SvPVX() sharing when ithreads cloning a Regexp SV, because mother_re is set to NULL, instead of a cloned copy of the mother_re. This change might fix bugs with regexps and threads in certain other situations, but as yet neither tests nor bug reports have indicated any problems, so it might not actually be an edge case that it's possible to reach.

  • Several compilation errors and segfaults when perl was built with -Dmad were fixed.

  • Fixes for lexer API changes in 5.11.2 which broke NYTProf's savesrc option.

  • -t should only return TRUE for file handles connected to a TTY

    The Microsoft C version of isatty() returns TRUE for all character mode devices, including the /dev/null style "nul" device and printers like "lpt1".

  • Fixed a regression caused by commit fafafbaf which caused a panic during parameter passing [perl #70171]

  • On systems which in-place edits without backup files, -i'*' now works as the documentation says it does [perl #70802]

  • Saving and restoring magic flags no longer loses readonly flag.

  • The malformed syntax grep EXPR LIST (note the missing comma) no longer causes abrupt and total failure.

  • Regular expressions compiled with qr{} literals properly set $' when matching again.

  • Using named subroutines with sort should no longer lead to bus errors [perl #71076]

  • Numerous bugfixes catch small issues caused by the recently-added Lexer API.

  • Smart match against @_ sometimes gave false negatives. [perl #71078]

  • $@ may now be assigned a read-only value (without error or busting the stack).

  • sort called recursively from within an active comparison subroutine no longer causes a bus error if run multiple times. [perl #71076]

New or Changed Diagnostics

  • split now warns when called in void context

  • printf-style functions called with too few arguments will now issue the warning "Missing argument in %s" [perl #71000]

New Tests

Many modules updated from CPAN incorporate new tests.

  • t/comp/final_line_num.t

    See if line numbers are correct at EOF

  • t/comp/form_scope.t

    See if format scoping works

  • t/comp/line_debug.t

    See if @{"_<$file"} works

  • t/op/filetest_t.t

    See if -t file test works

  • t/op/qr.t

    See if qr works

  • t/op/utf8cache.t

    Tests malfunctions of utf8 cache

  • t/re/uniprops.t

    Test unicode \p{} regex constructs


The following items are now deprecated.

  • Use of "goto" to jump into a construct is deprecated

    Using goto to jump from an outer scope into an inner scope is now deprecated. This rare use case was causing problems in the implementation of scopes.


Perl 5.11.3 represents approximately one month of development since Perl 5.11.2 and contains 61407 lines of changes across 396 files from 40 authors and committers:

Abigail, Alex Davies, Alexandr Ciornii, Andrew Rodland, Andy Dougherty, Bram, brian d foy, Chip Salzenberg, Chris Williams, Craig A. Berry, Daniel Frederick Crisman, David Golden, Dennis Kaarsemaker, Eric Brine, Father Chrysostomos, Gene Sullivan, Gerard Goossen, H. Merijn Brand, Hugo van der Sanden, Jan Dubois, Jerry D. Hedden, Jesse Vincent, Jim Cromie, Karl Williamson, Leon Brocard, Max Maischein, Michael Breen, Moritz Lenz, Nicholas Clark, Rafael Garcia-Suarez, Reini Urban, Ricardo Signes, Stepan Kasal, Steve Hay, Steve Peters, Tim Bunce, Tony Cook, Vincent Pit and Zefram.

Many of the changes included in this version originated in the CPAN modules included in Perl's core. We're grateful to the entire CPAN community for helping Perl to flourish.

Reporting Bugs

If you find what you think is a bug, you might check the articles recently posted to the comp.lang.perl.misc newsgroup and the perl bug database at . There may also be information at , the Perl Home Page.

If you believe you have an unreported bug, please run the perlbug program included with your release. Be sure to trim your bug down to a tiny but sufficient test case. Your bug report, along with the output of perl -V , will be sent off to to be analysed by the Perl porting team.

If the bug you are reporting has security implications, which make it inappropriate to send to a publicly archived mailing list, then please send it to This points to a closed subscription unarchived mailing list, which includes all the core committers, who be able to help assess the impact of issues, figure out a resolution, and help co-ordinate the release of patches to mitigate or fix the problem across all platforms on which Perl is supported. Please only use this address for security issues in the Perl core, not for modules independently distributed on CPAN.


The Changes file for an explanation of how to view exhaustive details on what changed.

The INSTALL file for how to build Perl.

The README file for general stuff.

The Artistic and Copying files for copyright information.