[racket-dev] release notes draft

From: Sam Tobin-Hochstadt (samth at cs.indiana.edu)
Date: Mon Jan 13 09:11:34 EST 2014

On Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 9:27 PM, Robby Findler
<robby at eecs.northwestern.edu> wrote:
> Below is the latest release notes draft. Comments?
> Robby
> Racket has a new package system, including a catalog of already available
> packages.

How about:

"Racket version 6.0 comes with a new package system, including a
catalog of hundreds of already-available packages."

> Please visit
>  http://pkgs.racket-lang.org/
> for an overview.

This doesn't actually have an overview.  Is that something we plan to
change for the release?

> Recent releases included the "beta" versions of the package system.
> Racket version 6.0 incorporates many improvements suggested by these
> preliminary experiences:
>  * A package is treated as a single collection by default, so it is even
>    easier to use a Github repository as a package. Get started quickly:
>      http://docs.racket-lang.org/pkg/getting-started.html
>  * DrRacket includes a new package manager GUI, which is also available
>    as a stand-alone program via the "gui-pkg-manager" package.

Maybe say how to open the GUI in DrRacket?

>  * The main Racket distribution has been broken into about 200 packages. An
>    installation starts with Minimal Racket and then adds these bundled
> packages.

The second sentence might make people think that you need to install
Minimal Racket, or that it does remote installs, or something else
like that.  How about:

"The Racket installer combines the core system with bundled versions
of these packages."

And maybe "separated" instead of "broken"?

>    Alternatively, you may now install a Minimal Racket distribution ---
>    which is about 1/10 the size of the main distribution --- and add only
>    those packages that you need.
>  * Package installation supports pre-built packages that include
>    compiled byte code and rendered documentation, meaning packages can be
>    installed quickly when built versions are a available. All packages in
>    the main distribution are available in pre-built form.
> Further improvements are in the works, including package documentation on
> the package-catalog web site.
> COMPATIBILITY NOTE: PLaneT will remain in place for the foreseeable future,
> but we expect all package work to shift to the new system.

Maybe "PLaneT, the previous Racket package system, ...".

> Beyond the package system, this release brings a number of other changes:
>  * Racket's HTML documentation has a new and improved look, thanks to
>    Matthew Butterick.
>  * Racket's JIT compiler supports the ARM architecture.
>  * Racket supports the Mac's Retina display mode.
>  * The profiler provides a new mode that uses the errortrace library to
>    produce fine-grained profiles.
>  * A new contract profiler reports how much time programs spend checking
>    contracts, and which contracts are most expensive.
>  * The math/flonum library exports fast 105-bit precision operations.
>  * Check Syntax handles generated identifiers, especially those
>    introduced by struct (e.g. field selectors) and Redex (e.g., e_1, e_2)
>  * 2htdp/batch-io includes functions for dealing with html/xml in files and
>    web sites as X-expressions plus conveniences for web-based graph
> traversals.

I would like to add a bullet:

* Typed Racket is now up to 50% faster when type checking some large programs.


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