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Julia (the programming language) has released version 1.6. The expectation is that it will assume the position of the next long-term support (LTS) version. Because of that, extra time went into designing, prepping, and testing the language, in addition to performance updates.

The final decision about whether Julia 1.6 is the new LTS, will be made after it has been tested by the team in various intense scenarios.

This could be at around the time we get to version 1.7 in its stable form. The current LTS version of Julia is 1.0.5, released in September 2019.

What’s new in version 1.6?

Version 1.6 has new changes and upgrades that are included to bring faster compilation times and boost performance through methods like faster parallel precompilation or optimizations that reduce latency.

The details of the new version are available on the Julia Project Blog, while the release notes can be accessed on GitHub.  

Parallel precompilation is faster in version 1.6, due to the addition of a heavily parallelized precompilation operation that is automatically started after package actions and keeps the active environment ready to load. Where version 1.5 would take 8 minutes, 1.6 takes a little over a minute.

There’s more

The scheme for invalidating old code is more accurate and selective now. Before now, adding new methods to previously defined functions would sometimes force Julia to recompile code to incorporate the changes in dispatch.

The new version comes with a makeover that sees it capable of helping type inference arrive at a reliable answer more often.

Not only does this make Julia leaner, but it also increases the speeds and makes it less prone to method invalidation. What you get is an agile and responsive interactive session when using the language.