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ActivePerl 5.8 Documentation


ActivePerl 5.8 Change Log

For the latest information on ActivePerl, please see:


Build 829 January 25, 2010

Build 829 is based on Perl 5.8.9 plus additional selected changes from the Perl development branch.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 828

  • The Tk module has been build differently on Mac OS X to be compatible with PerlApp from the Perl Dev Kit.

  • Most bundled modules have been updated to their latest released version from CPAN. Use the ppm query command to check the exact version included in this release.

Build 828 December 8, 2010

Build 828 is based on Perl 5.8.9 plus additional selected changes from the Perl development branch.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 827

  • DBD::Pg has been added for all platforms. Works out-of-the box, as all required additional libraries are statically linked into the module.

  • Most bundled modules have been updated to their latest released version from CPAN. Use the ppm query command to check the exact version included in this release.

Build 827 February 2, 2010

Build 827 is based on Perl 5.8.9 plus additional selected changes from the Perl development branch.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 826

  • On Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) it is now possible to build Perl extensions containing XS code.

  • On Windows the -t operator now only returns a true value if the filehandle is really connected to a console. In earlier releases it would return a true value for any kind of character device, including the NUL device.

  • The new ap-iis-config utility can be used to configure IIS for use with ActivePerl. It works for all supported Windows versions and their corresponding IIS releases, including Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7.

    This tool is also used by the Windows installer to automatically configure IIS during installation if requested by the installer settings.

  • PPM is now capable of downloading modules from ActivePerl Business Edition repositories. You can find more information about ActivePerl Business Edition at http://www.activestate.com/business_edition

  • Most bundled modules have been updated to their latest released version from CPAN. Use the ppm query command to check the exact version included in this release.

Build 826 May 26, 2009

Build 826 is based on Perl 5.8.9 plus additional selected changes from the Perl development branch.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 825

  • The following security vulnerabilities in the Crypt::SSLeay module were addressed in this release by upgrading the OpenSSL libraries to version 0.9.8k:

    CVE-2009-0590 (ASN1 printing crash)

    The function ASN1_STRING_print_ex() when used to print a BMPString or UniversalString will crash with an invalid memory access if the encoded length of the string is illegal.

    Any OpenSSL application which prints out the contents of a certificate could be affected by this bug, including SSL servers, clients and S/MIME software.

    CVE-2009-0789 (Invalid ASN1 clearing check)

    When a malformed ASN1 structure is received it's contents are freed up and zeroed and an error condition returned. On 64-bit Windows this can cause an invalid memory access later resulting in a crash when some invalid structures are read, for example RSA public keys.

    Any OpenSSL application on 64-bit Windows which uses the public key of an untrusted certificate could be crashed by a malformed structure. Including SSL servers, clients, CA and S/MIME software.

    CVE-2008-5077 (Incorrect checks for malformed signatures)

    Several functions inside OpenSSL incorrectly checked the result after calling the EVP_VerifyFinal function, allowing a malformed signature to be treated as a good signature rather than as an error. This issue affected the signature checks on DSA and ECDSA keys used with SSL/TLS.

    One way to exploit this flaw would be for a remote attacker who is in control of a malicious server or who can use a 'man in the middle' attack to present a malformed SSL/TLS signature from a certificate chain to a vulnerable client, bypassing validation.

  • PerlEx no longer sets the MOD_PERL environment variable (the change from build 825 has been reverted), as it has undesirable side-effects.

  • The -p function used to always return a false value on Windows. It now correctly detects if the filehandle argument is a pipe or not. Also the Fcntl::S_IFIFO constant is now defined.

  • A potential buffer overflow in Perl for ISAPI has been fixed. Whenever Perl for ISAPI wrote an error message to the log file it would potentially write beyond the end of a heap buffer.

  • The following modules have been added to ActivePerl:

        Compress-Raw-Bzip2   2.019
  • The following bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:

        ActivePerl-PPM      4.4       4.5
        ActiveState-Utils   2.5       2.6
        Archive-Tar         1.40-r1   1.48-r1
        CGI                 3.42      3.43
        Class-Accessor      0.31      0.33
        Compress-Raw-Zlib   2.015     2.019
        DBD-SQLite          1.13-r1   1.25
        Data-Dump           1.12      1.14
        File-HomeDir        0.82      0.86
        HTML-Parser         3.59      3.60
        IO-Compress         2.015     2.019
        JSON                2.12      2.14
        JSON-XS             2.23      2.232
        LWP                 5.822     5.826
        Math-Complex        1.54      1.56
        Module-Build        0.30      0.33
        Package-Constants   0.01      0.02
        Text-Autoformat     1.13      1.666
        Text-CSV_XS         0.58      0.64
        Time-Piece          1.13      1.14
        Tkx                 1.05      1.07
        WWW-Mechanize       1.52-r1   1.54-r1
        Win32               0.38      0.39
        Win32-API           0.57      0.58
        YAML-LibYAML        0.29      0.32
        threads             1.71      1.72
        threads-shared      1.26      1.28

Build 825 December 16, 2008

Build 825 is based on Perl 5.8.9 plus additional selected changes from the Perl development branch.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 824

  • Perl 5.8.9 has been incorporated. See perl589delta.pod for a comprehensive list of core Perl changes since build

  • PPM v4.4 is now included. This release fixes an infinite recursion problem in the 'ppm tree' command for packages that declared circular dependencies, and it fixes the problem that caused installing packages from .ppmx files in other directories to fail.

    This release also include tweaks to the heuristics for when to check for updates to repository data. PPM should no longer check the same repo more than once each day.

    The ppm command creates a log of the actions it takes. On Unix ppm used to write the log file to the home directory of the user. This release move the ppm4.log file into the ~/Libraray/Logs directory on Mac OS X and into the ~/.ActivePerl directory for the rest. On Windows the log file goes into the temp directory as before.

  • PerlEx now sets the MOD_PERL environment variable (to "PerlEx/3.0") so that modules that behave differently under mod_perl will behave the same way under PerlEx (e.g. CGI::Carp).

  • The following modules have been added to ActivePerl:

        Package-Constants 0.1
  • The following bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:

        Archive-Tar       1.38-r1    1.40-r1
        Archive-Zip       1.20       1.26
        CGI               3.41       3.42
        Compress-Raw-Zlib 2.012      2.015
        Compress-Zlib     2.012      2.015
        Data-Dump         1.11       1.12
        File-HomeDir      0.80       0.82
        HTML-Parser       3.56       3.59
        IO-Compress-Base  2.012      2.015
        IO-Compress-Zlib  2.012      2.015
        JSON-XS           2.2222     2.23
        libwww-perl       5.814      5.822
        Module-Build      0.2808_01  0.30
        Sub-Uplevel       0.1901     0.2002
        Tcl               0.95-r1    0.97-r1
        Text-CSV_XS       0.52       0.58
        WWW-Mechanize     1.34-r1    1.52-r1
        Win32-API         0.55       0.57
        YAML-LibYAML      0.27-r1    0.29

Build 824 September 4, 2008

Build 824 is based on Perl 5.8.8, but also includes all changes from the Perl 5.8 maintenance branch up to change 34096 plus additional selected changes from the Perl development branch.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 822.2

  • Many updates and bug fixes in the Perl internals have been applied. See the Changes file in the source distribution for the complete list.

  • Minimum system requirements have been changed: Windows 2000 and later are supported Windows versions and Solaris 2.8 is the minimum Solaris version.

  • PPM v4.3 is now included. This version of PPM should be considerable faster at parsing the package.xml file and in updating the local database. This version also supports installing packages from .ppmx files.

  • PPM on Windows and Linux will use the "new" ActiveState PPM repositories currently at http://ppm.activestate.com/beta which have a bigger selection of modules available and will allow updating of bundled core modules when updates become available.

    The new repositories are configured on the server side; other platforms will be switched to the new repositories once they become available for them automatically.

  • ActivePerl::Config on Windows now dynamically sets the $Config{ccversion} to the version of cl.exe. This allows ExtUtils::MakeMaker to generate and embed manifest files into extension DLL when required by the specific version of the C compiler.

  • The GCC support for Windows in ActivePerl::Config now adds the -mms-bitfields option to the ccflags when compiling with GCC. This forces identical struct layouts with Visual C++, which is used to compile ActivePerl itself. This has become important because core Perl 5.10 now uses bit-fields for some important structures.

  • The tkkit libraries used by the Tkx module have been updated with the latest changes from ActiveTcl 8.5.4.

  • CVE-2006-4484 has been addressed in Tk.

  • On OS X the supplied sitecustomize.pl script adds the ~/Library/ActivePerl/lib directory to @INC, and PPM will install into this directory by default because the /usr/local/ActivePerl-5.8/site/lib directory isn't writable without sudo. Unfortunately ~/Library/ActivePerl/lib was also used by ActivePerl 5.10, so you could end up with a mixture of 5.8 and 5.10 modules in that directory. This release uses ~/Library/ActivePerl-5.8/lib as a per-user Perl 5.8 specific module area.

  • On Windows there is a special form of them system() function to start processes asynchronously: system(1, $cmd). It returns the process id instead of the exit status so that the spawning application can eventually use waitpid() to wait for the external process to terminate. Previous Perl releases only returned the lower 16 bits of the process id; this version returns all 32 bits.

  • The following modules have been added to ActivePerl:

        Algorithm-Diff     1.1902
        Bit-Vector         6.4
        BSD-Resource       1.2901
        Carp-Clan          6.00
        Compress-Raw-Zlib  2.012
        Class-Accessor     0.31
        Crypt-SSLeay       0.57
        Date-Calc          5.4
        DBD-CSV            0.22
        DBD-ODBC           1.16
        DBD-Oracle         1.21
        Digest-SHA         5.47
        ExtUtils-CBuilder  0.24
        File-HomeDir       0.80
        File-Next          1.02
        File-Which         0.05
        GD                 2.39
        GDGraph            1.4308
        GDTextUtil         0.86
        HTML-Template      2.9
        IO-Compress-Base   2.012
        IO-Compress-Zlib   2.012
        JSON               2.12
        JSON-XS            2.2222
        Module-Build       0.2808_01
        mylib              1.02
        Net-Telnet         3.3
        Pod-Escapes        1.04
        Pod-Simple         3.07
        PPM-Repositories   0.15
        SQL-Statement      1.15
        Sub-Uplevel        0.1901
        Test-Differences   0.48
        Test-Exception     0.27
        Text-CSV_XS        0.52
        Text-Diff          0.35
        Text-Glob          0.08
        Time-Piece         1.13
        version            0.76
        WWW-Mechanize      1.34
        YAML-LibYAML       0.27

    The DBD::Oracle module is only included in the 32-bit releases of ActivePerl for Windows and Linux. It does not include the Oracle client libraries; instead it requires that either the regular client libraries or the Oracle Instant Client is already installed and configured on the system.

    ActiveState recommends DBI and DBD::ODBC for accessing databases using ODBC. The Win32::ODBC module continues to be provided for backwards compatibility, but new code should exclusively use DBD::ODBC.

    The PPM-Repositories module supplies a list of PPM repositories provided by sources outside ActiveState. It makes it easier to discover and configure additional repositories in PPM. For example you can display a list of repositories available for the current platform with:

        ppm repo suggest

    Adding e.g. the University of Winnipeg repository maintained by Randy Kobes is then as easy as:

        ppm repo add uwinnipeg

    The PPM-Repositories list is used by the PPM GUI client as well.

  • The following bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:

        Archive-Tar    1.32  to 1.38
        bignum         0.22  to 0.23
        CGI            3.29  to 3.41
        Compress-Zlib  1.4201 to 2.012
        Data-Dump      1.08  to 1.11
        DBI            1.58  to 1.605
        Font-AFM       1.19  to 1.20
        HTML-Stream    1.55  to 1.59
        HTML-Tagset    3.10  to 3.20
        IO-Zlib        1.04  to 1.09
        libwww-perl    5.808 to 5.814
        Math-BigInt    1.82  to 1.89
        Math-BigInt-FastCalc 0.15 to 0.19
        Math-BigRat    0.18  to 0.22
        Math-Complex   1.37  to 1.54
        perl-ldap      0.34  to 0.36
        Tcl            0.89  to 0.95
        Thread-Queue   2.00  to 2.11
        Thread-Semaphore 2.01 to 2.09
        threads        1.63  to 1.71
        threads-shared 1.12  to 1.26
        Time-HiRes     1.9707 to 1.9715
        Tkx            1.04  to 1.05
        URI            1.35  to 1.37
        XML-Parser     2.34  to 2.36
        XML-Simple     2.16  to 2.18
  • The libwin32 module collection has been replaced by its individual modules, each of which has been updated to the latest version from CPAN:

        Win32-Clipboard     0.55
        Win32-Console       0.09
        Win32-EventLog      0.076
        Win32-File          0.06
        Win32-FileSecurity  1.08
        Win32-Internet      0.84
        Win32-IPC           1.07
        Win32-Job           0.03
        Win32-NetAdmin      0.11
        Win32-NetResource   0.56
        Win32-ODBC          0.034
        Win32-OLE           0.1709
        Win32-PerfLib       0.06
        Win32-Pipe          0.024
        Win32-Process       0.14
        Win32-Registry      0.10
        Win32-Service       0.06
        Win32-Shortcut      0.07
        Win32-Sound         0.49
        Win32-TieRegistry   0.25
        Win32-WinError      0.03
        Win32API-File       0.1001
        Win32API-Net        0.12
        Win32API-Registry   0.30

Known Issues

  • ActivePerl 824 on Unix (AIX, Linux, OS X, Solaris) is incompatible with PerlApp from the Perl Dev Kit 7.2. This issue will be fixed in Perl Dev Kit 7.3 and does not affect the Windows release of 824.

    Please continue to use ActivePerl 822 with PerlApp on Unix until the Perl Dev Kit 7.3 has been released.

Build 823 July 11, 2008

Build 823 was only distributed for HP-UX.

Build 822.2 November 15, 2007

Build 822.2 is a rebuild for HP-UX.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 822.1

  • The following security vulnerabilities are addressed in this release:

    • CVE-2007-5116

      Buffer overflow in the polymorphic opcode support in the Regular Expression Engine (regcomp.c) in Perl 5.8 allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary code by switching from byte to Unicode (UTF8) characters in a regular expression.

    • Directory traversal vulnerability in Archive-Tar

      Archive-Tar would extract files to locations outside the current working directory if the tarball contained either absolute paths, or relative paths containing "../" sequences.

      This behavior is now disabled by default. The $Archive::Tar::INSECURE_EXTRACT_MODE variable can be set to a true value to restore the old behavior. The ptar utility now requires the -I option to enable the insecure extraction mode.

      Note that this vulnerability fix is not backwards compatible. You can set $Archive::Tar::INSECURE_EXTRACT_MODE in your sitecustomize.pl file to restore the insecure operation globally.

  • ActivePerl 822 on HP-UX does not include PPM4 and therefore also doesn't include the corresponding changes to the directory layout and @INC directory order. However, all additional modules were still installed into the lib instead of the site_lib tree, breaking PPM3. In build 822.2 all non-core modules are installed in the site_lib tree again.

  • The following bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:


Build 822.1 September 23, 2007

Build 822.1 is a rebuild of build 822 for HP-UX on PA-RISC. The original release had several modules compiled so that they would only work on PA-RISC2.0 machines. All modules in 822.1 are compatible with the PA-RISC1.1 architecture again.

Build 822 Wednesday, Aug 1, 2007

Build 822 is based on Perl 5.8.8, but also includes all changes from the Perl 5.8 maintenance branch up to change 31223 plus additional selected changes from the Perl 5.9 development branch.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 821

  • Additional updates and bug fixes in the Perl internals have been applied (on top of the changes in build 821, which was only released on HP-UX). See the Changes file in the source distribution for the complete list.

  • kill(0, $pid) was always returning TRUE in build 820 on Windows. It now returning the correct values again (bug 67519).

  • It is now possible to send "INT" signals to subprocesses on Windows, as long as they are also running ActivePerl Build 822 or later. For arbitrary subprocesses, only "BREAK" and "TERM" signals will be delivered (bug 67871).

  • The MSI installer would under certain conditions insert invalid script mappings into the IIS metabase, which could disable all script mappings until the invalid entries have been manually removed. This situation could only happen if the user used the "Back" button in the installer to get back to the component selection dialog, and then de-selected some previously selected components (PerlEx and/or Perl for ISAPI).

    The control flow in the installer has been fixed, and the code manipulating the metabase has been safeguarded to prevent these invalid mappings (bug 68446).

  • The installer.bat installer on Windows could create an incorrect script mapping for the .pl file extension (to "Perl " with the trailing space). It now correctly maps to the "Perl" association (bug 68656).

  • $Config{installsitescript} now points to the same directory as $Config{installsitebin} instead of defaulting back to $Config{installscript} (bug 70844).

  • MinGW extension compilation support has been improved. Build 820 added support for $Config{lib_ext}, but broke in turn $Config{obj_ext} (bug 69025). This has been corrected, and $Config{ldflags} is now adjusted too. ActivePerl will also automatically search the MinGW/lib directory for additional libraries, and support linking against both .lib and .a files.

    Note that some MinGW support may get broken if ExtUtils::MakeMaker is being updated directly to a newer version from CPAN (so don't do that if you are using MinGW).

  • Many bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:


Known Issues

  • Build 822 is no longer compatible with the PDK 6 (Perl Dev Kit). Please stay with build 820 if you need to use PDK 6, or upgrade to PDK 7 if you want to use ActivePerl 822.

  • The diagnostics module from build 822 will not work correctly with PerlApp from PDK 7 (on Windows only) because the perldiag.pod file has been moved from the lib/Pod to the lib/pods directory. This will be fixed in the PDK 7.1 release.

Build 821 Wednesday, Jun 24, 2007

Build 821 is based on Perl 5.8.8, but also includes all changes from the Perl 5.8 maintenance branch up to change 31223 plus additional selected changes from the Perl 5.9 development branch.

Build 821 was only distributed for HP-UX.

Special configuration of build 821 for HP-UX

Build 821 on HP-UX does not include PPM4 or the Tkx module, and it also does not have the simplified directory layout nor the changed order of directories in @INC. These changes will be introduced for HP-UX in ActivePerl 5.10.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 820

  • Many updates and bug fixes in the Perl internals have been applied. See the Changes file in the source distribution for the complete list.

  • Setting the ACTIVEPERL_CONFIG_CC environment variable to gcc will force the ActivePerl::Config module to use a GCC configuration even when the vendor compiler is available on the PATH. This option is supported on HP-UX, Solaris, and Windows.

  • Windows NT support (broken in build 820) has been restored.

  • The command history of the debugger is now being saved and restored between debugging sessions.

  • The various manpages including the FAQs have been updated in many places. Especially the documentation regarding regular expressions, and regarding Unicode has been expanded. The Perl Unicode FAQ has been added as perlunifaq.pod and the Perl Unicode Tutorial as perlunitut.pod.

  • The Unicode Character Database was updated from version 4.1.0 to 5.0.0.

  • stat() and -X file tests now work on dirhandles too.

  • sort() function can now be recursive.

  • The ${^CHILD_ERROR_NATIVE} variable now contains the native status returned by the last pipe close, backtick (``) command, successful call to wait() or waitpid(), or from the system() operator.

  • If the ${^WIN32_SLOPPY_STAT} variable is set to a true value, then stat() on Windows will not try to open the file. This means that the link count cannot be determined and file attributes may be out of date if additional hardlinks to the file exist. On the other hand, not opening the file is considerably faster, especially for files on network drives.

  • The perl*.pod files are now installed into the lib/pods directory on Windows. Previously they were copied to the lib/Pod directory because the filesystem on Windows is not case sensitive.

  • The $Config{d_pseudofork} variable has been introduced to differentiate between platforms with real fork() support and the fork() emulation currently implemented on Windows.

  • The following module has been added to ActivePerl:

  • Many bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:


Build 820 Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007

Build 820 is based on Perl 5.8.8.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 819

  • PPM has been upgraded to version 4.01.

    • The PPM UI now supports install and uninstall of modules with post-install or uninstall scripts.

    • PPM now always uses package.xml for the ActiveState repository and doesn't fall back to downloading thousands of PPDs if the package.xml file is temporarily unavailable.

    • PPM now runs post-install scripts in dependency order.

    • The --force option to 'ppm install' now allows files already installed by other packages to be overwritten. Ownership of these files is transferred to the new package.

    • Added --no-sync option to the 'ppm search', 'ppm install' and 'ppm upgrade' commands.

    • Added --max-ppd option to 'ppm repo sync' command.

    • Added 'ppm config' command.

    • Added 'ppm tree' command.

    • The 'ppm repo sync' command now always checks the server to see if updates to the repository are available.

    • Improved compatiblity with PPD files from PPM3 repositories.

    • PPM4 now supports ZIP archives as the codebase of PPD files.

    • The 'ppm-shell' command on Windows now uses Term::ReadLine::Stub for terminal I/O to provide command history recall.

    • On Windows, PPM state data is now stored in LOCAL_APPDATA instead of APPDATA. The database can be quite large and is therefore not suitable for the roaming profile.

    • PPM now picks up modules from site; but still looks in the perl area first. This allows you to install Crypt-SSLeay in order to be able to access https://...-repositories.

    • Fixed a problem causing PPM to sometimes download package tarballs from the wrong repository.

    • The PPM GUI now shows which repository a package comes from. The Repository column is hidden by default.

    • The PPM GUI now warns about downgrades on modules selected for installation which have a lower version number than the currently installed version.

    • The PPM GUI used to drop all dependencies if some of them failed. It now keeps any remaining dependencies.

    • In the PPM GUI, package selection is not cleared if the install fails. This makes it possible to retry without having to select all the same packages again.

    • The PPM GUI now shows a download progress bar.

    • New PPM icon on Mac OS.

  • There have been various improvements in Unicode handling on Windows. Most of them rely on the fact that Windows stores a short 8.3 name for each filename that is longer, or contains characters not in the system codepage. By using the short name Perl is able to access these files throught the byte stream APIs that the Perl core is using.

    If the generation of short filenames has been disabled, then filenames containing characters outside the system codepage will still not be accessible. Since the short file names are stored by the file system, this mechanism will also only work for existing files. There is no way to determine a short file name for files that have not yet been created.

    • readdir() and glob() will return the short name if the long name cannot be represented in the system codepage.

    • The PATH environment variable is preprocessed and all entries using characters that are not in the system codepage will be replaced with their short name versions. This preprocessing step will also remove surrounding quote characters from all entries in the PATH variable.

      The PATH cleanup happens early enough that perl.exe will be able to find scripts via the -S commandline option in those "inaccessible" directories.

    • Both $^X and the @INC entries derived from $^X (lib and site/lib directories) will be converted to the short form, if necessary.

      Note that installing ActivePerl into a directory whose name cannot be represented in the system codepage is still discouraged.

    • Win32::GetCwd() will return a short name, if necessary, and Win32::SetCwd() can accept a Unicode name.

    • The new Win32::GetANSIPathName() accepts a pathname that may contain Unicode characters and returns the name in the system codepage.

      The file or directory must already exist; otherwise characters not in the system codepage will be translated using replacement characters (usually '?'), resulting in a potentially invalid filename.

    • Win32::GetLongPathName() may return Unicode characters now.

    • Win32::GetFullPathName() will return a short name, if necessary. Call Win32::GetLongPathName() on the return value (in scalar context) to get the full pathname in Unicode:

    • Win32::GetFolderPath() will return a short name, if necessary. Call Win32::GetLongPathName() on the return value to get the full pathname in Unicode.

    • Win32::ExpandEnvironmentStrings() may return Unicode characters because it will use the Unicode process environment directly.

      Any changes to %ENV however will be propagated to the process environment, and %ENV only stores byte strings. There is currently no API to set environment variables to a Unicode string.

    • Win32::MsgBox() now accepts Unicode strings for both the MESSAGE and TITLE paramters.

    • Win32::LoginName() may return Unicode characters.

  • The builtin Perl kill() function now support killing process trees by using negative signal numbers on Windows too. Currently kill() on Windows will still only terminate processes owned by the same user, even when the user is a member of the Administrators group.

  • Perl on Windows could hang indefinitely under certain conditions involving more than one of: alarm(), sleep(), waitpid(), system() and a GUI toolkit like Tk, wxPerl, Win32::GUI (or any other function that uses a messageloop). This indefinite loop should no longer occur.

  • The Windows installer now puts site\bin in the PATH.

  • The Windows installer now detects and prevents installation on top of ActivePerl 817 or earlier. This is necessary because the changed order of lib and site/lib in @INC would otherwise put old modules from the previous installation in front of the new modules bundled with this release.

    Also see the installation guide for help on saving and restoring your installed PPM modules with PPM-Profile.

  • The Windows installer for 64-bit ActivePerl will default the install location to C:\Perl64 instead of C:\Perl. Installing both the 32 and 64 bit versions of ActivePerl into the same directory is not supported.

    The Start menu shortcut and the Add Remove Programs entry for the 64 bit version are marked with a " (64-bit)" suffix to differentiate them from the 32 bit versions.

  • Improved MingW compatiblity on Windows.

  • The lwp-request aliases GET, HEAD, POST are no longer installed; use lwp-request directly instead. These aliases created problems on case-insensitive systems where they shadowed other commands.

  • Make HTTP::Daemon deal properly with 'HEAD' requests. It used to generate a content body for these causing confusion on persistent connections.

  • The self-contained tkkits required by the Tcl module have been updated.

  • Restored the old (pre 818) behaviour of ActivePerl::DocTools::WriteTOC(). It now only warns if it can't write to the perltoc.html file.

  • ActiveState::Browser now also looks for xdg-open, galeon and opera on Unix. It also knows how to detect KDE/Gnome properly.

  • ActiveState::Scineplex now has a JSON output mode.

  • Long hostnames are now supported on HP-UX.

  • Many bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:

  • A patch has been applied to DBI-1.52 to make it more robust against drivers not handling multiple result sets with different numbers of columns correctly. DBI wasn't upgraded to version 1.53 because that one breaks compatibility with DBD-Sybase.

Build 819 Wednesday, Aug 31, 2006

Build 819 is based on Perl 5.8.8.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 818

  • HTML table of contents did not get updated as packages were installed/removed.

  • libwww-perl package was not properly recorded by PPM.

  • Term-ReadLine-Perl was missing.

  • Upgradable packages no longer show packages with equal version number in the PPM GUI.

Build 818 Wednesday, Aug 16, 2006

Build 818 is based on Perl 5.8.8.

Bug Fixes and Changes since build 817

  • This is the first non-beta release of 64 bit ActivePerl. It is available for Windows and Linux on x64 as well as Solaris on Sparc. The 64 bit Windows release does not include PerlScript, PerlEx, Perl for ISAPI or PerlEz.

    The 64 bit releases do not yet contain the Tcl and Tkx modules.

  • PPM has been rewritten; see Release Notes and ppm for details.

  • All bundled modules and scripts are now installed in the perl area and the site area is now completely empty in a new ActivePerl installation.

  • Rearranged order of @INC; modules installed in site area now take precedence over the bundled modules.

  • Simplified directory layout on Unix; no more architecture and version specific directories. This makes the layout the same as the Windows version of ActivePerl.

  • Term::ReadLine console fix for Windows.

  • Avoid trying to read C:\dev\urandom at startup on Windows.

  • The gridRemove method has been enabled for Tk.pm.

  • The Win32::OLE module in libwin32 package has been upgraded from version 0.1704 to version 0.1707.

    • add special support for tlbinf32.dll from Microsoft

    • add support for receiving VT_RECORD and arrays of VT_RECORD

    • improve error handling logic

    • fix memory leak in Win32::OLE::Enum::All() and Win32::OLE::Enum::Next()

    • in ClearVariantObject() check IDispatch/IUnknown variants for NULL before calling Release() on them

  • Double quotes are now displayed properly in the HTML documentation.

  • DynaLoader.o has now been moved into libperl.so on Unix. This makes it easier to embed perl and is the same arrangement as perl on Windows.

  • Added ActiveState::Browser module to ActiveState-Utils.

  • Most files of the Perl installation are now readonly on Windows.

  • Added a workaround for Module::Install brokenness that affected ActivePerl::Config (introduced in build 815). This prevented some modules to install under the CPAN shell.

  • Added error checks after execing PL_cshname or PL_sh_path.

  • Many bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:

        CGI 3.20
        threads 1.31
        threads-shared 1.01
  • New bundled modules:


Build 817.91 (818 Beta 2) Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006

Introduce PPM graphical interface and Tkx.

Build 817.90 (818 Beta 1) Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Introduce rearranged order of @INC and the new PPM command line client.

Build 817 Wednesday, Mar 22, 2006

Build 817 is based on Perl 5.8.8.

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Upgraded the core threads and threads::shared modules with threads-1.12 and threads-shared-0.99 from CPAN. This fixes the handle leakage on Windows and allows setting the stack size for new threads. It also fixes both the '!=' comparison operator for thread objects and the crashes while joining threads that go re-introduced in build 816.

  • Fixed several bugs in the new implementation of alarm() for Windows. They did manifest themselves by signals not being delivered, or by GUI applications randomly hanging.

  • Restored binary compatibility for SvPV_nolen() and similar macros. This incompatibility made it impossible to use perlapp for Unix on Tk based applications.

  • Reintroduce PL_memory_wrap for binary compatibility.

  • The require builtin now ignores directories matching the given name when searching @INC.

Build 816 Thursday, Mar 2, 2006

Build 816 is based on Perl 5.8.8.

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Perl 5.8.8 has been incorporated. See perl588delta.pod for a list of changes.

  • ActivePerl build 816 is now also available as a 64 bit Beta release for Windows and Linux on x86_64 as well as Solaris on Sparc. The 64 bit Windows Beta does not include PerlScript, PerlEx, Perl for ISAPI or PerlEz.

  • The ActivePerl Community License has been clarified. It now explicitly allows you to redistribute certain parts of ActivePerl as part of applications generated by wrapping tools such as by PAR, PerlApp and Perl2Exe. Please refer to the license text for actual terms and conditions.

  • ActivePerl for Mac OS X is now a Universal binary that supports all Macintosh hardware natively.

  • ActivePerl for Solaris is now built with the vendor compiler. Previous releases were built with the GNU compiler (gcc).

  • ActivePerl::Config on Solaris and HP-UX now provide compatibility so that extensions can be built using gcc. This happens automatically if the vendor compiler is not available on the target system.

  • ActivePerl now ships with a preinitialized CPAN::Config module. This avoids the need to go through the configuration dialog the first the CPAN shell is invoked. The configuration dialog can still be invoked by the o conf init command to the CPAN shell.

  • Syntax colored documentation and ActiveState::Scineplex is now supported for all the Unix platforms.

  • Passive transfer mode is now the default for Net::FTP. This mode is more likely to work with modern firewall setups.

  • Problem where 'perl -s' wasn't able to parse -foo=bar switches has been corrected.

  • The stat() builtin would not return the expected result when passed a directory name with trailing slashes on Windows. This problem has been fixed.

    This problem caused the rmtree() function of the File::Path module introduced in build 815 to fail for such directory names on Windows.

  • The IO::Socket::INET is now more efficient and it does not rely on getprotobyname("tcp") to be functional any more.

  • A problem where long groups entries could cause memory exhaustion has been fixed.

  • A problem with the alarm() function on Windows 2003 has been fixed.

  • The Tk module would sometimes fail to update the -cursor attribute of widgets for 64-bit builds of perl. This problem has now been fixed.

  • Many bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:


Build 815 Wednesday, Nov 2, 2005

Build 815 is based on Perl 5.8.7.

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • The PerlEx plugin for IIS has been added to ActivePerl for Windows. It caches precompiled CGI scripts in memory to increase their performance.

  • The table of contents for the HTML documentation has been reverted back to the format used before build 813 (it no longer requires JavaScript to be enabled).

  • ExtUtils::MakeMaker now generates and installs HTML documentation automatically. Regardless how modules are being installed (via PPM, through the CPAN shell, or by manual compilation and installation), the HTML documentation is always kept up-to-date.

  • Code snippets in the HTML documentation are syntax colored. This feature is currently only available on Windows and Mac OS X.

  • ActiveState::Scineplex has been added on Windows and Mac OS X. This module analyzes source code for various programming languages and is being used to colorize the code snippets in the HTML documentation.

  • The ActivePerl::Config module has been added. It allows perl's configuration options to be overridden. The module can also automatically reconfigure ActivePerl for alternative compilation environments when the default compiler cannot be found.

    On Windows, MakeMaker will use the gcc.exe compiler from MinGW and the dmake.exe utility if the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler cl.exe and the nmake.exe utility are not available on the PATH. This will also work automatically from within the CPAN shell.

  • The perl-static executable on Unix will now pick up a matching Config.pm (there is no statically linked Perl on Windows).

  • File::Path's rmtree() function has been replaced to address security vulnerability CAN-2005-0448.

  • Fixed incompatibility problem with Tk and Encode version 2.10 which was introduced in build 813 (perl-5.8.7).

  • Win32::GetOSName() can now identify Windows Vista.

  • Various ActiveState::* utility modules have been added.

  • libwin32 has been updated to version 0.26:

    • Win32API::File

      New GetFileAttributes() function and corresponding constants.

      Added GetFileSize(), getFileSize(), setFilePointer(), and GetOverlappedResult() functions. The file position operations can use Math::BigInt objects.

      Experimental new object oriented interface added. This will be moved into a separate module in a later release.

    • Win32API::Registry


    • Win32::Clipboard

      GetBitmap() should now work correctly with 1 bit, 4 bit, 8 bit, 16 bit, 24 bit, and 32 bit colors.

    • Win32::Console

      Renamed GRAY to LIGHTGRAY and added definitions for the "real" GRAY colors.

      Added get_Win32_IPC_HANDLE() method so that Win32::IPC can wait on a console handle.

      Added SetIcon() method to change the icon of the window.

      Don't export the scalar variables to %main:: but into the callers namespace.

    • Win32::Process

      Added get_Win32_IPC_HANDLE() method for Win32::IPC compatibility.

      Added STILL_ACTIVE constant for GetExitCode().

      Win32::Process::Open() now records the process ID correctly for GetProcessID(). It also creates handle now that can be used with the Wait() method.

    • Win32::Shortcut

      The Save() function now calls Win32::GetLongPathName() on the filename to make sure to use a fully qualified pathname.

      The Save() will store the new filename as the 'File' property unless the Shortcut object already has a 'File' property.

  • Many bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:


Build 814 Beta Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005

Build 814 Beta is based on Perl 5.8.7. This release is provided as a Windows MSI installer only.

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Bundled PerlEx, an ISAPI plugin for the IIS web server.

  • Built in ActivePerl:: module providing version information.

  • The gedi program now actually runs. This is a demo program installed by the Tk package.

  • Text-Autoformat module updated to version 1.13.

Build 813 Tuesday, Jun 7, 2005

Build 813 is based on Perl 5.8.7.

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • ActivePerl is now supported on the Mac OS X, Solaris (x86), and AIX platforms.

  • New improved HTML documentation which requires JavaScript enabled browser.

  • Installation of the HTML documentation is now optional.

  • Perl 5.8.7 has been incorporated. See perl587delta.pod for a list of changes.

  • ActivePerl will now evaluate 'sitecustomize.pl' at startup if present. The ActivePerl distribution does not ship with this file, but it is a hook that the system administrator can use to set up set up additional site specific @INC entries.

  • Fixed Net::Ping's ICMP implementation to not give up waiting for the echo reply until it either receives an unreachable reply or times out. Previous versions would for instance give up if they received a source quench reply.

  • Many bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:

        Convert-ASN1-0.19 (only for HP-UX)
  • New modules

        MLDBM-2.01 (only for Mac OS X)
        Time-Epoch-0.02 (only for Mac OS X)

    The "Mac-" modules are only present for Mac OS X as well.

  • The ActiveState-Rx module has been dropped from the distribution.

Build 812 Monday, Jan 10, 2005

Build 812 is based on Perl 5.8.6.

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • On Unix, provide a destructor for libperl. This allows libperl to be repeatedly loaded and unloaded by e.g. mod_perl without running out of thread local storage slots. On Windows this was already handled correctly.

  • The reloc_perl -a option has been fixed. It is now possible to relocate from a shorter to a longer path.

Build 811 Wednesday, Dec 1, 2004

Build 811 is based on Perl 5.8.6.

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Perl 5.8.6 has been incorporated. See perl585delta.pod and the perl586delta manpage for a list of changes.

  • Fixed stack corruption in the Tk-804.027 module. This would sometimes make Tk programs crash.

  • Fixed handling of Unicode in XML-DOM-1.43. Some Unicode strings would end up UTF-8 encoded when they should not be. The XML::DOM module is only distributed as part of ActivePerl on HP-UX.

  • Many bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:

        libwin32-0.24 (only for Windows)
        libxml-perl-0.08 (only for HP-UX)

    In addition, IO::String version 1.06 is now included with ActivePerl.

Build 810 Monday, Jun 7, 2004

Build 810 is based on Perl 5.8.4.

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Perl 5.8.4 has been incorporated. See the perl584delta manpage for a list of changes.

  • The default install location on Unix is now /opt/ActivePerl-5.8. Earlier versions installed into /usr/local/ActivePerl-5.8 by default.

  • Many bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:

        perl-ldap-0.31 (only for HP-UX))
        XML-XSLT-0.48 (only for HP-UX))

Build 809 Monday, Feb 2, 2004

Build 809 is based on Perl 5.8.3.

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Perl 5.8.3 has been incorporated. See the perl583delta manpage for a list of changes.

  • The Win32 module now includes the Win32::IsAdminUser() function that checks if the current interpreter runs with Administrator privileges.

  • The access violations of detached threads on thread exit have been fixed.

  • Time::HiRes now provides high resolution on Windows too.

Build 808 Saturday, Dec 6, 2003

Build 808 is based on Perl 5.8.2.


  • Perl 5.8.2 has been incorporated. See the perl582delta manpage for a list of changes.

    ActivePerl build 808 is still being compiled with the -DNO_HASH_SEED option to maintain binary compatibility with earlier releases. Perl 5.8.2 implements a new rehashing scheme that will kick in dynamically based on the actual data being stored in a hash. This new scheme is backwards compatible and is enabled in ActivePerl build 808.

  • The following modules are bundled with ActivePerl for HP-UX and have been updated to their latest versions:


Build 807 Thursday, Nov 6, 2003

Build 807 is based on Perl 5.8.1. This is the first release of ActivePerl based on this new maintenance release of Perl. This release is meant for use in production systems. However, owing to the sheer volume of changes between Perl 5.8.0 and 5.8.1 that have been incorporated, please be sure to test it thoroughly in a non-critical environment before you upgrade your production systems.

Please check the perl581delta manpage for a list of the major changes in Perl. Only additional changes specific to ActivePerl are mentioned here.

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Perl 5.8.1 has been incorporated. See the perl581delta manpage for a list of changes.

    Important note: The new Hash Randomization feature has been disabled in ActivePerl because it is not compatible with Perl 5.8.0. If we enabled this feature then some modules compiled with 5.8.0 would not work correctly with 5.8.1 and most modules compiled with 5.8.1 would not work at all with Perl 5.8.0. This would require maintaining separate PPM module repositories for 5.8.0 and 5.8.1.

    To enable the Hash Randomization feature you must recompile ActivePerl from source and remove the -DNO_HASH_SEED definition from the C compiler options. In that case you must compile all CPAN modules yourself too because the PPM repository binaries will not be compatible.

  • Windows 2003 Server is now officially supported. The installer adds entries to the IIS6 "Web Services Extensions" list for both "Perl CGI" and "Perl ISAPI". Both are set to "Prohibited" by default and must be explicitly changed to "Allow" in the IIS Manager.

    Win32::GetOSName() detects the release version of Windows 2003 correctly.

  • ActiveState::Rx module has been included. This module is necessary to use the Rx Toolkit in ActiveState Visual Perl. You must upgrade Visual Perl to version 1.8.1 to use the Rx Toolkit with Perl 5.8.

  • Many bundled modules have been updated to their latest versions:


    In addition, IO::Zlib version 1.01 is now included with ActivePerl.


  • The upgrade command has been fixed.

  • It is now possible to install from a file URL while not being connected to the Internet.

  • PPM now works on Windows even when the Term::InKey module is installed.

Perl for ISAPI

  • Perl for ISAPI no longer uses line buffering for STDOUT. This is especially important for running under IIS6 which bypasses TCP/IP nagling and directly sends every packet individually.

  • Perl for ISAPI used to close all open file handles before shutting down the Perl interpreter. The intention was to prevent file handle leaks from buggy Perl scripts while running inside the IIS process. Unfortunately Perl may still execute END blocks or call DESTROY methods during final destruction and some file handles may get closed twice in this scenario.

    This creates a race condition: the file handle may already have been re-opened by a different thread before the second close happens. Perl then closes a file handle it doesn't own anymore. This may cause a different page request to fail.

    To avoid this race condition Perl for ISAPI will no longer try to automatically close open file handles. Therefore it is possible that broken Perl applications will now start leaking file handles if they don't close them correctly themselves.

Build 806 Monday, March 31, 2003

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Several bug fixes and other improvements have been merged from the Perl development track. In particular, many of these fixes address problems in the PerlIO implementation. See the ActivePerl source code diff for the complete list of included changes.

  • Other minor bug fixes and documentation updates.


PPM has been upgraded to version 3.1. It fixes most of the known problems, including:

  • PPM 3.1 now provides all the functionality of PPM 2.0 and 3.0. PPM 2.0 is therefore no longer included in ActivePerl 5.8.

  • PPM now works correctly through a proxy server requiring basic authentication. Previous versions of PPM 3.0 only supported proxy servers that did not require authentication.

  • PPM is now more robust in handling user-defined repository URLs. For instance, URLs with a trailing slash no longer result in fatal errors.

  • Support for ASPN Perl profiles has been much improved. However, at the time of this writing, the ActivePerl 5.8 repositories do not yet support profiles. This is expected to become available shortly.

  • In previous versions of PPM 3, incorrect search results from the repository (such as package names that do not have corresponding PPD files) could crash the PPM3 client. PPM now generates meaningful error messages under these circumstances.

Build 805 Thursday, Feb 6, 2003

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Several bug fixes and other improvements have been merged from the Perl development track. In particular, many of these fixes address weaknesses in Unicode support. See the ActivePerl source code diff for the complete list of included changes.

  • Bugs in the Perl 5.8 integration of Perl for ISAPI and PerlScript that resulted in failure to flush output correctly at the termination of the script have been fixed.

  • On Windows, system() and backticks could return invalid status when running under environments where the process has to handle Windows messages. PerlScript and Perl for ISAPI fall under this category. The problem has been corrected.

  • On Windows, PerlScript and Perl for ISAPI were affected by a reentrancy problem, which meant that recursive invocation of these two engines could fail. This problem has been corrected.

  • Tk and libwww-perl has been updated to their latest versions.

  • Win32::Shortcut no longer calls CoUninitialize() within an END block. This avoids random coredumps from this module when its DESTROY methods happen to get called after the END block executes.

  • PPM v2 and v3 can now optionally generate HTML documentation when installing packages if POD documentation is found in the package. This is controlled by the rebuildhtml option in PPM v2 and the rebuild-html option in PPM v3.

  • Other minor bug fixes and documentation updates.

Build 804 Friday, Nov 29, 2002

What's new in the 800 Series

  • This build corresponds to the Perl 5.8.0 source code release.

  • The 800 series builds of ActivePerl are not binary compatible with builds in the 500 or 600 series. Any extensions built using binaries from the ActivePerl 500 or 600 series will need to be recompiled. Note especially that this applies to PPM packages that may have been built for 500 or 600 series builds.

  • Significant changes that have occurred in the 5.8.0 release are documented in the perl58delta manpage.

  • Support has been enabled for large file access on all platforms, meaning that file manipulation facilities within perl can cope with files larger than 2GB or 4GB.

  • Many new modules are included as a standard part of perl 5.8.0. See "Modules and Pragmata" in the perl58delta manpage for a detailed list. In addition, the Data::Dump module is now included with ActivePerl. Many other modules have been updated to their latest versions.

  • PPM v3 is now included as the default ppm executable. PPM v2 continues to be available, and can be executed as ppm2.