The most significant change in version 5.1 is a rewrite of the GUI
Unix/X users will see the biggest difference with this change,
because DrRacket and all Racket GUI programs now take on the desktop
theme for menus, buttons, and other GUI widgets.
In the long run, Racket GUI programs on all platforms will improve
as a result of the library rewrite. In the short run, beware that
this first release of a new library will inevitably include a new
set of bugs.
Version 5.1 changes in more detail:
* The `racket/draw' library -- which implements the drawing half the
GUI toolkit -- can be used independent of the `racket/gui/base'
library and without a graphics display (e.g., without an X11
The new library has one small incompatibility with the old GUI
toolbox: 'xor drawing is no longer supported. The new library has
many additional features: rotation and general affine
transformations, PDF and SVG drawing contexts, gradients, and
* The GRacket executable is no longer strictly necessary for running
GUI programs, because the `racket/gui/base' library can be used
from Racket. To the degree that a platform distinguishes GUI and
console applications, however, the GRacket executable still offers
some additional GUI-specific functionality (e.g., single-instance
The new `racket/gui/base' library includes small incompatibilities
with the old GUI toolbox: the `send-event',
`current-ps-afm-file-paths', and `current-ps-cmap-file-paths'
functions have been removed. The `racket/gui/base' library
re-exports `racket/draw', so it includes the same drawing
functionality as before (except for 'xor drawing).
* The new `racket/snip' library can be used independently of
`racket/gui/base' to work with graphical editor content (e.g.,
images in student programs). Like `racket/draw', the
`racket/snip' library is re-exported by `racket/gui/base'.
* The Web Server includes a backwards incompatible change that
prevents X-expressions and lists of bytes from being directly
returned from servlets. This change will increase performance for
those types of responses and allow easier experimentation with
response types. Please see "collects/web-server/compat/0/README"
in the installation to learn about porting your servlets forward.
Don't worry. It's easy.
* The new `raco demodularize' tool collapses a module's dependencies
into a single module comprising the whole program. This
transformation currently provides no performance improvement, but
is the basis for cross-module optimization and dead-code
elimination tools to come. The transformation is currently useful
for static analysis of whole Racket programs.
* The picturing-programs teachpack, formerly installed via PLaneT,
is now bundled with the standard distribution. Use the teachpack
with `(require picturing-programs)' instead of `(require
installed-teachpacks/picturing-programs)'. The old PLaneT-based
installation procedure still works, but it now merely installs a
stub that invokes the bundled version.
* Slideshow picts, `racket/draw' bitmaps, and images created with
`2htdp/image' can now be used directly in Scribble documents.
More generally, the new `file/convertible' protocol enables any
value that is convertible to a PNG and/or PDF stream to be used as
an image in a Scribble document.
* The Same game sports a new look and an improved scoring system.
(The current known high score is 12,429; can you beat that?)