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MoarVM 2017.04

Greatly reduced contention in memory allocation, offering large speed-ups to many multi-threaded applications. Greatly optimized string indexing operations, along with many other optimizations in string handling. Added basic support for measuring coverage, and also coverage report generation for MoarVM itself. Improved memory pressure handling for large bigints. And numerous other improvements, including bug fixes, error message improvements, and memory use reductions.

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What is MoarVM?

Short for "Metamodel On A Runtime", MoarVM is a virtual machine built especially for Rakudo Perl 6 and the NQP Compiler Toolchain. It uses dynamic optimization techniques to detect hot code and produce specialized versions for the types that show up at runtime. The most popular backend for Rakudo Perl 6, MoarVM stands out by:

  • Running the Perl 6 specification test suite in the least time
  • Passing more of the Perl 6 specification tests than Rakudo Perl 6 on other backends
  • Having the lowest memory usage
  • Having the best startup time
  • Being fastest to build both NQP and Rakudo - and thus your Perl 6 and NQP programs too!
  • Being the only backend to support strings at grapheme level

For long-running workloads where startup time doesn't matter and you need tried-and-tested threading support, Rakudo on the JVM may be a better bet. It may also - once the slow startup is overcome - win on performance for some workloads, once its sophisticated JIT compiler gets to work. MoarVM is under active development in these areas, and the gap continues to close.