NEWS for Ruby 1.8.7

This document is a list of user visible feature changes made between releases except for bug fixes.

Note that each entry is kept so brief that no reason behind or reference information is supplied with. For a full list of changes with all sufficient information, see the ChangeLog file.

Changes since the 1.8.6 release

Configuration changes

  • default C flags

    Some C compiler flags may be added by default depending on your environment. Specify optflags=.. and warnflags=.. as necessary to override them.

  • vendor_ruby directory

    A new library directory named `vendor_ruby' is introduced in addition to `site_ruby'. The idea is to separate libraries installed by the package system (`vendor') from manually (`site') installed libraries preventing the former from getting overwritten by the latter, while preserving the user option to override vendor libraries with site libraries. (`site_ruby' takes precedence over `vendor_ruby')

    If you are a package maintainer, make each library package configure the library passing the `–vendor' option to `extconf.rb' so that the library files will get installed under `vendor_ruby'.

    You can change the directory locations using configure options such as `–with-sitedir=DIR' and `–with-vendordir=DIR'.

Global constants

  • new constants



Library updates (outstanding ones only)

Interpreter Implementation

  • passing a block to a Proc [experimental]

    This implementation in current shape is known to be buggy/broken, especially with nested block invocation. Take this as an experimental feature.

  • stack trace

    On non-SystemStackError exception, full stack trace is shown.

Compatibility issues (excluding feature bug fixes)

  • String#slice! had some unintentional bugs and they have been fixed because either they disagreed with documentation or their respective behavior of slice. Unfortunately, this causes some incompatibilities in the following (somewhat rare) cases.

    • slice! no longer expands the array when an out-of-boundary value is given.

      # Ruby 1.8.6
      a = [1,2]
      a.slice!(4,0)   #=> nil
      a               #=> [1,2,nil,nil]
      # Ruby 1.8.7
      a = [1,2]
      a.slice!(4,0)   #=> nil
      a               #=> [1,2]
    • slice! no longer raises an exception but returns nil when a negative length or out-of-boundary negative position is given.

      # Ruby 1.8.6
      a = [1,2]
      a.slice!(1,-1)  #=> (raises IndexError)
      a.slice!(-5,1)  #=> (raises IndexError)
      # Ruby 1.8.7
      a = [1,2]
      a.slice!(1,-1)  #=> nil
      a.slice!(-5,1)  #=> nil
  • String#to_i, String#hex and String#oct no longer accept a sequence of underscores (`__') as part of a number.

    # Ruby 1.8.6
    '1__0'.to_i     #=> 10
    '1__0'.to_i(2)  #=> 2  # 0b10
    '1__0'.oct      #=> 8  # 010
    '1__0'.hex      #=> 16 # 0x10
    # Ruby 1.8.7
    '1__0'.to_i     #=> 1
    '1__0'.to_i(2)  #=> 1
    '1__0'.oct      #=> 1
    '1__0'.hex      #=> 1

    The old behavior was inconsistent with Ruby syntax and considered as a bug.

  • date

    • Date.parse

      '##.##.##' (where each '#' is a digit) is now taken as 'YY.MM.DD' instead of 'MM.DD.YY'. While the change may confuse you, you can always use Date.strptime when you know what you are dealing with.


  • stringio

    • StringIO#each_byte

      The return value changed from nil to self. This is what the document says and the same as each_line() does.

  • tempfile

    • The file name format has changed. No dots are included by default in temporary file names any more. See above for how to specify a suffix.

  • uri

    • See above for details.

Changes since the 1.8.5 release

New platforms/build tools support

  • IA64 HP-UX

  • Visual C++ 8 SP1

  • autoconf 2.6x

Global constants


    New constant since 1.8.5-p1.

Library updates (outstanding ones only)

  • builtin classes

  • date

    • Updated based on date2 4.0.3.

  • digest

    • New internal APIs for C and Ruby.

    • Support for autoloading.

      require 'digest'
      # autoloads digest/md5
      md = Digest::MD5.digest("string")
    • New digest class methods: file

    • New digest instance methods: clone, reset, new, inspect, digest_length (alias size or length), block_length()

    • New library: digest/bubblebabble

    • New function: Digest(name)

  • fileutils

  • nkf

    • Updated based on nkf as of 2007-01-28.

  • thread

    • Replaced with much faster mutex implementation in C. The former implementation, which is slow but considered to be stable, is available with a configure option `–disable-fastthread'.

  • tk

    • Updated Tile extension support based on Tile 0.7.8.

    • Support –without-X11 configure option for non-X11 versions of Tcl/Tk (e.g. Tcl/Tk Aqua).

    • New sample script: irbtkw.rbw – IRB on Ruby/Tk. It has no trouble about STDIN blocking on Windows.

  • webrick

Compatibility issues (excluding feature bug fixes)

  • builtin classes

  • date

    • Time#to_date and Time#to_datetime are added as private methods. They cause name conflict error in ActiveSupport 1.4.1 and prior, which comes with Rails 1.2.2 and prior. Updating ActiveSupport and/or Rails to the latest versions fixes the problem.

  • digest

    • The constructor does no longer take an initial string to feed. The following examples show how to migrate:

      # Before
      md ="string")
      # After (works with any version)
      md ="string")
      # Before
      hd ="string").hexdigest
      # After (works with any version)
      hd = Digest::MD5.hexdigest("string")
    • Digest::Base#==

      • self == string

        Automatic detection between binary digest values and hexadecimal digest values has been dropped. It is always assumed that a hexadecimal digest value is given for comparison.

      • self == md

        Digest objects are compared by the resulting digest values, not by the exact vector states.

  • fileutils

    • A minor implementation change breaks Rake <=0.7.1. Updating Rake to 0.7.2 or higher fixes the problem.

  • tk

    • Tk::X_Scrollable (Y_Scrollable) is renamed to Tk::XScrollable (YScrollable). Tk::X_Scrollable (Y_Scrollable) is still available, but it is an alias name.