Vim 7.3 has just been released today. From the announcement:

This is a minor release of Vim. It consists of Vim 7.2 plus all patches, updated runtime files and some more, see below. It has been two years since the 7.2 release, thus it's not that "minor". But not "major" either. Something in between, don't know how to call that.

The most notable additions since 7.2:

  • Persistent undo and undo for reload
  • Blowfish encryption, encryption of the swap file
  • Conceal text
  • Lua interface
  • Python 3 interface

However, to the Perl programmer, this is a significant upgrade from 7.2, because of updates of all the Perl-related support files. Vim has language specific plugins for syntax highlighting, indenting and other filetype-related behaviors. Every one of these Perl-related support files has been updated. For example, syntax/perl.vim has not been updated since 2006. Now, Perl 5.10 keywords like given, when and state are properly highlighted.

For the Perl 6 hackers out there working with Rakudo Star, Vim now includes support for Perl 6. Until now, if Perl 6 programmers wanted Vim to support Perl 6, they had to use a perl6.vim file that got passed around from person to person. Now, it comes installed automatically as part of Vim 7.3.

Perl 6 detection is primitive, so you may have to explicitly add it to your modeline in your file, such as

# vi: filetype=perl6:

All of these changes are from the vim-perl project hosted on Github. In that project, I've aggregated syntax, indent and filetype plugins for the Perl and Perl 6 support files that get fed back to the Vim project. It's also got support for other filetypes like Template Toolkit that are not part of the vim distribution. I'm not making many changes to the Vim code directly. Like many of my other contributions to open source, my role is one of wrangler and coordinator and less of programmer and technologist.

If you're interested in Vim support for Perl 5 and Perl 6, I encourage you to check out the vim-perl project and join the vim-perl mailing list. Now that Vim 7.3 is out, we have some room to stretch out and make Vim do incredible things for Perl in the next release.