[racket-dev] drafting the v5.1 release announcement

From: Robby Findler (robby at eecs.northwestern.edu)
Date: Thu Feb 10 15:49:37 EST 2011

I think there are a non-trival number of people who deal with snips to
process student submissions that it is worth an extra line or two
(that I've put in below)

On Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 2:43 PM, Matthew Flatt <mflatt at cs.utah.edu> wrote:
> Here's a new draft that folds in the contributions so far --- all
> edited to varying degrees. I left out `racket/snip', because it seems
> relatively obscure.
> ----------------------------------------
> Racket version 5.1 is now available from
>  http://racket-lang.org/
> The most significant change in version 5.1 is a rewrite of the GUI
> library:
>  http://blog.racket-lang.org/2010/12/racket-version-5.html
> Unix/X users will see the biggest difference with this change, because
> DrRacket and all Racket GUI programs now take on the desktop theme for
> menus, buttons, and other GUI widgets.
> In the long run, Racket GUI programs on all platforms will improve as a
> result of the library rewrite. In the short run, beware that this first
> release of a new library will inevitably include a new set of bugs.
> Version 5.1 changes in more detail:
>  * The `racket/draw' library --- which implements the drawing half the
>   GUI toolkit --- can be used independent of the `racket/gui/base'
>   library and without a graphics display (e.g., without an X11
>   connection).

    (join to above para)
    Similarly, the racket/snip library --- which implements things
like images in student programs --- can be used independently from

>   The new library has one small incompatibility with the old GUI
>   toolbox: 'xor drawing is no longer supported. The new library has
>   many additional features: rotation and general affine
>   transformations, PDF and SVG drawing contexts, gradients, and
>   alpha-channel bitmaps.
>  * The GRacket executable is no longer strictly necessary for running
>   GUI programs, because the `racket/gui/base' library can be used from
>   Racket. To the degree that a platform distinguishes GUI and console
>   applications, however, the GRacket executable still offers some
>   additional GUI-specific functionality (e.g., single-instance
>   support).
>   The new `racket/gui/base' library includes small incompatibilities
>   with the old GUI toolbox: the `send-event',
>   `current-ps-afm-file-paths', and `current-ps-cmap-file-paths'
>   functions have been removed. The `racket/gui/base' library
>   re-exports `racket/draw', so it includes the same drawing
>   functionality as before (except for 'xor drawing).
>  * The Web Server includes a backwards incompatible change that
>   prevents X-expressions and lists of bytes from being directly
>   returned from servlets. This change will increase performance for
>   those types of responses and allow easier experimentation with
>   response types. Please see "collects/web-server/compat/0/README" in
>   the installation to learn about porting your servlets
>   forward. Don't worry. It's easy.
>  * The new `raco demodularize' tool collapses a module's dependencies
>   into a single module comprising the whole program.  This
>   transformation currently provides no performance improvement, but
>   is the basis for cross-module optimization and dead-code
>   elimination tools to come. The transformation is currently useful
>   for static analysis of whole Racket programs.
>  * The picturing-programs teachpack, formerly installed via PLaneT, is
>   now bundled with the standard distribution. Use the teachpack with
>   `(require picturing-programs)' instead of `(require
>   installed-teachpacks/picturing-programs)'. The old PLaneT-based
>   installation procedure still works, but it now merely installs a
>   stub that invokes the bundled version.
>  * Slideshow picts, `racket/draw' bitmaps, and images created with
>   `2htdp/image' can now be used directly in Scribble documents. More
>   generally, the new `file/convertible' protocol enables any value
>   that is convertible to a PNG and/or PDF stream to be used as an
>   image in a Scribble document.
>  * The Same game sports a new look and an improved scoring system.
>   (The current known high score is 12,429; can you beat that?)
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