Perl.com: What's New in Perl 5.6.0?Apr 19, 2000, 13:48 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Simon Cozens)
"The largest change in Perl 5.6 has to be the introduction of UTF-8 Unicode support. By default, Perl now thinks in terms of Unicode characters instead of simple bytes; a character can, as the CJK people already know extremely well, span several bytes. All the relevant built-in functions (length, reverse, and so on) now work on a character-by-character basis instead of byte-by-byte, and strings are represented internally in Unicode."
"As usual, Perl now supports more computers than ever before, with the addition of six new supported platforms; notably, the GNU/Hurd is now supported, as is the Psion 5."
"Perl's threading has been drastically reworked. It's still experimental, and there's still every expectation that the current implementation may be thrown out and started again, but Perl now supports two different types of threads. ...we've got the threads that existed in Perl 5.005 - your program can thread, and each thread can have its own variables and stashes, controlled with the Thread module as before, and these threads have become slightly more stable - but we also now have interpreter-based threads."