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New minor version has arrived

Julia 1.4 adds new language features and library updates

Maika Möbus
julia 1.4
© Shutterstock / morrowlight

The latest minor version of Julia, v1.4, has landed. The open source high-level dynamic programming language is used for tasks such as machine learning and statistics, and now it has received several new features. Let’s see what language changes, build system changes and new library functions Julia 1.4 has on board.

The release of Julia 1.4 has been announced. Julia is a high-level dynamic programming language that is used for specific purposes such as statistics, machine learning and computational biology. On the current March 2020 PYPL Index, Julia ranks on place 27, with a 0.27% increase compared to one year ago.

SEE ALSO: Julia: The programming language of the future?

As the fourth minor release in the Julia 1.x series, Julia 1.4 comes without breaking changes. It does, however, add several new language and library features, so let’s take a look and see what’s new!

Language updates

Julia 1.4 includes three new language features: import now allows quoted symbols such as import Base.:+, structs with isbits and isbitsunion fields are stored inline in arrays, and the first element of an integer-indexed collection a can now be addressed by using a[begin].

The syntax (;), on the other hand, is now deprecated.

Library updates

In the latest version, Julia adds several new library features. For example, the Iterators submodule now has the additional function accumulate, along with the functions takewhile and dropwhile which are known from other languages such as Python and Ruby.

Further library updates include that filter can now act on a Tuple, and the functions gcdlcm, and gcdx have received support for Rational arguments.

Other updates

rand(::Tuple) should now show a better performance in some cases, and in markdown, the table column alignment in the HTML output has been fixed. A build system change has been added in Julia 1.4 as well: The Windows build installer has switched to Inno Setup. REPL, SparseArrays and linear algebra functions have also received updates.

With the release of Julia 1.4, no further v1.3.x updates are to be expected, and Julia 1.0 continues to be the only LTS version of the programming language.

SEE ALSO: JavaScript on top, Python ties with Java in RedMonk rankings

See the release announcement and the release notes on GitHub for further details.

Author
Maika Möbus
Maika Möbus has been an editor for Software & Support Media since January 2019. She studied Sociology at Goethe University Frankfurt and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

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