[racket-dev] release notes draft

From: Robby Findler (robby at eecs.northwestern.edu)
Date: Mon Jan 13 22:03:17 EST 2014

Here's the latest draft.


Racket 5.92 has a new package system, including a catalog of
hundreds of already-available packages. Please visit


for an overview of the packages.

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:

 * DrRacket includes a new package manager GUI, available via the
   File|Package Manager ... menu item. The GUI is also available
   as a stand-alone program via the "gui-pkg-manager" package.

 * The main Racket distribution has been separated into about 200
   packages. The Racket installer combines the core system with
   bundled versions of these packages.

   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, the previous Racket package system,
will remain in place for the foreseeable future, but we expect
all package work to shift to the new 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.

 * The documentation includes a style guide, "How to Program Racket"

 * Racket's JIT compiler supports the ARM architecture.

 * Racket supports the Mac's Retina display mode.

 * The performance of the Typed Racket compiler improved by 50% on some
   typed programs; see http://bit.ly/1d0Ye4z

 * 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

 * The `gen:set' generic interface extends set operations to work on
   user-defined types that implement set methods, as well as on other
   set-like built-in types, such as lists.

 * Picts support conversion to SVG format.

 * Under unix, Racket provides desktop entries (.desktop files) for its
   graphical executables.
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