This directory contains the C source code packages used to build Perl releases. To use these you do need a C compilation environment. Here you will not find ready-to-install Perl packages. For that, try the ports directory.
Since the release 5.6 (March 2000) Perl has followed the commonly used scheme where there is a development branch, which eventually stabilizes into a "point-oh/point-zero" (.0) release, which then branches into a maintenance branch with maintenance releases (.1, .2, ...), while the development branches back to uncharted waters. The development (or devel, as it is called by the Perl 5 developers) releases have an odd (as opposed to even) major release number (5.7, 5.9, 5.11, ...), while the maintenance (or maint) releases have an even major release number (5.6, 5.8, 5.10, 5.12, ...). The "point-oh/point-zero" releases and release candidates are called testing releases.
For stable production use the maint branches are recommended. The "point-oh/point-zero" releases of maintenance releases have of course by definition not been tested for long periods of time, but you should still start using them.
If you want to help out developing new releases of Perl you can use the devel releases, but you should probably not wait for them and instead follow the development and hang around in the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list.
Please note that branches earlier than 5.8 are no more supported (as of 2008), though fixes for urgent issues like for example for severe security problems may still be issued. Also, there are 5.005_04 and 5.6.2 releases which enabled compiling 5.005 and 5.6 with some of the more current platforms and compilers, for those who need backward compatibility.
(Historical note: there used to be "symbolic" source code releases called "stable", "latest", "maint", "devel", but those were found to cause more confusion than they were worth, they didn't really work with multiple branches, especially not with multiple maintenance branches, and especially the "latest" made absolutely no sense.)
Perl 6 has not been released yet. The Parrot virtual machine planned to be used to run Perl 6 has made pre-1.0 developer releases, but the best way to track that is to follow the development.
|5.10||5.10.1||perl-5.10.1.tar.gz||maint||2 months, 3 days|
|5.8||5.8.9||perl-5.8.9.tar.gz||maint||10 months, 14 days|
|5.6||5.6.2||perl-5.6.2.tar.gz||maint||5 years, 11 months, 16 days|
|5.5||5.5.4||perl5.005_04.tar.gz||maint||5 years, 8 months, 6 days|
|5.4||5.4.5||perl5.004_05.tar.gz||maint||10 years, 5 months, 32 days|
(A year is 365.2425 days and a month is 30.436875 days.)
Any development releases made obsolete by later releases are not included here.
These should give an idea of the age of each branch.
For further information see the full release history of Perl.
Once you've downloaded one of these archives and unpacked it, you need to use it to build a binary for your system, then test and install it. The file README in the distribution gives license information and brief instructions; the file INSTALL gives comprehensive instructions. If you have a non-UNIX system, see also README.yoursystem -- for example, README.win32.
Source archives for all releases of perl5. You should only need to look here if you have an application which, for some reason or another, does not run with the current release of perl5. Be aware that only 5.004 and later versions of perl are maintained. If you report a genuine bug in such a version, you will probably be informed either that it is fixed in the current maintenance release, or will be fixed in a subsequent one. If you report a bug in an unmaintained version, you are likely to be advised to upgrade to a maintained version which fixes the bug, or to await a fix in a maintained version. No fix will be provided for the unmaintained version.
Path to patch files needed to adapt particular perl releases for use with Japanese character sets.
Discussion of the meanings of the endings of filenames (.gz, .ZIP and so on). Read this file if you want to know how to handle a source code archive after you've downloaded it.
Third-party and other add-on source packages needed in order to build certain perl configurations. You do not need any of this stuff to build a default configuration.
Source code archives for several recent production releases of perl.
This is where we hid the source for perl4, which was superseded by perl5 years ago. We would really much rather that you didn't use it. It is definitely obsolete and has security and other bugs. And, since it's unsupported, it will continue to have them.
Files relevant to the security problem found in 'suidperl' in August 2000, reported in the bugtraq mailing list. The problem was found in all Perl release branches: 5.6, 5.005, and 5.004. The 5.6.1 release has a fix for this, as have the 5.8 releases. The (now obsolete) development branch 5.7 was unaffected, except for very early (pre-5.7.0) developer-only snapshots. The bug affects you only if you use an executable called 'suidperl', not if you use 'perl', and it is very likely only to affect UNIX platforms, and even more precisely, as of March 2001, the only platforms known to be affected are Linux platforms (all of them, as far as we know). The 'suidperl' is an optional component which is not installed, or even built, by default. These files will help you in the case you compile Perl yourself from the source and you want to close the security hole.
Files relevant to the CERT Advisory CA-97.17.sperl, a security problem found in 'suidperl' back in 1997. The problem was found both in Perl 4.036 (the final) (and last) release of Perl 4 and in early versions of Perl 5 (pre-5.003). The bug affects you only if you use an executable called 'suidperl', not if you use 'perl', and it is very likely only to affect UNIX platform. The 'suidperl' is an optional component which is not installed, or even built, by default. These files will help you in the (very unlikely) case you need to use (the obsolete and unsupported) Perl 4 or the early Perl 5s, Perl releases newer than Perl 5.003 do not have this security problem.
Corrections? Additions? Suggestions? Please contact email@example.com. Other questions? See the CPAN FAQ.
Copyright Jarkko Hietaniemi <firstname.lastname@example.org> 1998-2008 All Rights Reserved.