ActiveState has announced that ActivePerl 5.6 beta is now available for download. With this significant new release of its binary Perl distribution, ActiveState has provided ActivePerl 5.6 distributions for Windows, Linux and Solaris. "This is the first ActivePerl release available for Linux and Solaris," commented Dick Hardt, ActiveState CEO. "We have provided over 4 million downloads of ActivePerl to Windows users in the past year. We are sure that Perl Users on Linux and Solaris platforms will be keen to take advantage of a binary distribution of Perl." This beta release of ActivePerl 5.6 includes all the major features that have been discussed for Perl 5.6. These include support for Unicode, ability to run concurrent interpreters, better 64-bit and large filesystem support, new regular expression constructs, better control over warnings, lvalue subroutines, subroutine attributes, additional documentation, and tutorials on various subjects. In addition, Windows users will also be interested in the support for fork(), increased compatibility with CPAN extensions, Windows 2000 installation support, and access to the native Unicode functionality in Windows NT and 2000 environments. Beta distributions are available for download from www.ActiveState.com. ActivePerl 5.6 is expected to ship in March 2000. ActiveState will also shortly make available beta versions of the upcoming new releases of the Perl Dev Kit and PerlEx, which will take advantage of the new features in ActivePerl 5.6. ActiveState cautions that the ActivePerl 5.6 beta release may contain certain incomplete features and known bugs. It is made available for testing purposes only.