Perl 5.20 new features

Perl 5.20 is out and there are some nice syntax changes that make life easier for Perlers, along with some improvements that don’t require any work from you. Some of the features are experimental, so be careful that you don’t create problems by overusing them until they settle down.

You can download the Perl source from CPAN. For Windows, Strawberry Perl 5.20 is available now.


  • Subroutine signatures (experimental)
  • Postfix dereferencing (experimental)
  • Slices that return the indices too (“Key/Value Hash Slices”, which is going to be confusing to distinguish from “hash slices” when we talk about them)
  • Some taint improvements to close more loopholes
  • The Standard Library is trimmed (CGI, Module::Build, find2perl, s2p, and a2p are gone)
  • A return at the end of a subroutine is optimized away
  • Adjacent my declarations are combined
  • On the command line, -F implies -a, and -a implies -n
  • rand has a internal generator so it’s not platform or library dependent
  • locale improvements

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