10 Raku Best Practices

Raku is a powerful programming language with many features that make it ideal for production deployments. Here are 10 best practices to follow when using Raku.

Raku is a modern programming language that combines the best features of Perl, Python, and Ruby. It is an expressive, feature-rich language that is easy to learn and use.

Raku is an excellent choice for web development, scripting, and system administration. To get the most out of Raku, it is important to follow best practices. This article will discuss 10 Raku best practices that will help you write better code and improve your programming skills.

1. Use the Rakudo Star distribution for production-grade deployments

Rakudo Star is a pre-built, tested and packaged distribution of the Raku language. It includes the Rakudo compiler, as well as additional modules, documentation, and other tools that are useful for production deployments. This makes it easier to get up and running with Raku in production environments without having to build everything from scratch.

The Rakudo Star distribution also provides stability and reliability. The packages included in the distribution have been tested and verified to work together, so there’s less risk of unexpected issues arising due to incompatible versions or missing dependencies. Additionally, Rakudo Star releases are versioned and supported by the Raku community, which means any bugs or security vulnerabilities can be quickly addressed.

2. Utilize Raku’s built-in concurrency features to optimize performance

Raku’s concurrency features are based on the Actor model, which is a type of concurrent programming that allows for multiple tasks to be executed independently and concurrently. This means that instead of having one process running at a time, multiple processes can run simultaneously, allowing for faster execution times.

The way this works in Raku is by using lightweight threads called “Actors”. Each actor runs its own code independently from other actors, but they all share the same memory space. This makes it easy to pass data between actors without having to worry about synchronization issues. Additionally, each actor has its own message queue, so messages sent to an actor will not interfere with messages sent to another actor.

Using these features, developers can create highly efficient applications that take advantage of parallelism and asynchronous processing. For example, if you have a task that requires a lot of computation, you can split it up into smaller chunks and assign them to different actors. This way, the computations can be done in parallel, resulting in much faster execution times.

3. Leverage Raku’s type system to ensure code safety and correctness

Raku’s type system is a powerful tool for ensuring code safety and correctness. It allows developers to define the types of data that can be used in their programs, as well as how those data should be handled. This helps prevent errors from occurring due to incorrect data being passed into functions or operations. Additionally, it also makes it easier to debug problems since the compiler will throw an error if something unexpected happens.

The way Raku’s type system works is by allowing developers to declare variables with specific types. For example, they can specify that a variable must contain an integer, string, array, etc. The compiler then checks all operations performed on these variables to make sure they are valid for the specified type. If not, an error is thrown. This helps ensure that only valid operations are performed on the data, thus preventing bugs from occurring.

Furthermore, Raku’s type system also provides additional features such as type constraints and coercions. Type constraints allow developers to further restrict the types of data that can be used in their programs, while coercions provide a way to automatically convert between different types when needed. These features help make sure that data is always in the correct format before being used in any operation.

4. Take advantage of Raku’s native Unicode support

Raku’s native Unicode support allows for the use of characters from any language, including those with accents and other diacritical marks. This makes it easier to write code that is more readable and understandable by people who may not be familiar with the language being used. Additionally, Raku’s Unicode support helps ensure that data is stored correctly in databases and other applications, as well as making sure that text displays properly on webpages and other documents. To take advantage of this feature, developers should make sure their source files are encoded using UTF-8 or another Unicode encoding, and they should also use the correct character set when writing strings. Finally, developers should always check that their output is displaying correctly before releasing their application into production.

5. Employ Raku modules from the ecosystem whenever possible

Raku modules are packages of code that have been tested and verified by the Raku community. This means they can be trusted to work reliably, saving time and effort in debugging and testing. Additionally, many popular modules come with extensive documentation, making them easier to use than writing custom code from scratch.

Using existing modules also helps promote collaboration within the Raku community. By using a module written by someone else, you’re helping support their work and encouraging others to contribute as well.

To find and install modules, users can search for them on the official Raku Module Repository ( The repository is organized into categories, so it’s easy to find what you need. Once you’ve found the right module, you can install it directly from the command line using the zef tool.

6. Make use of macros and DSLs where appropriate

Macros are a powerful tool for creating custom syntax and abstracting away complex code. They allow developers to create their own language within Raku, which can be used to make the code more readable and maintainable. Macros also provide an easy way to extend the language with new features or functionality.

DSLs (Domain Specific Languages) are another great way to improve readability and maintainability of code. DSLs are designed specifically for a particular domain, such as web development or data analysis. By using a DSL, developers can write code that is tailored to the specific problem they are trying to solve, making it easier to understand and debug.

Using macros and DSLs in combination can help reduce complexity and increase productivity when writing Raku code. For example, a macro could be used to define a custom syntax for a particular task, while a DSL could be used to simplify the code needed to perform that task. This makes the code more concise and easier to read, while still providing all the necessary functionality.

7. Implement roles, classes, and objects correctly

Roles are a way to provide an interface for objects without having to create a class. They can be composed of other roles, and they allow you to define behavior that is shared across multiple classes. This makes it easier to maintain code since the same behavior can be reused in different places.

Classes are used to group related data and methods together. By using classes, you can ensure that all of your code is organized and easy to read. Classes also make it easier to extend existing functionality by adding new methods or overriding existing ones.

Objects are instances of classes. Each object has its own set of attributes and methods, which allows them to behave differently from one another. Objects are also useful for encapsulating data and providing access control.

8. Incorporate automated testing frameworks such as Test::META and Test::Routine

Test::META is a testing framework that allows developers to test the metadata of their Raku modules. This includes checking for correct version numbers, author information, and other important module details. It also helps ensure that all dependencies are correctly declared in the META6.json file. Test::META can be used by simply adding it as a dependency in your project’s META6.json file and then running the tests with prove.

Test::Routine is another automated testing framework for Raku. It provides an easy-to-use API for writing unit tests, which makes it easier to write comprehensive tests quickly. It also supports parameterized tests, so you can easily run the same test multiple times with different parameters. To use Test::Routine, you just need to add it as a dependency in your project’s META6.json file and then create a class that inherits from Test::Routine. You can then write your tests within this class. Finally, you can run the tests with prove.

9. Embrace parallelism with threads and asynchronous programming

Threads are a great way to take advantage of the multiple cores available in modern CPUs. By running tasks concurrently, threads can help speed up computationally intensive operations and improve overall performance. Asynchronous programming is also beneficial because it allows for non-blocking I/O operations, which means that while one task is waiting on an external resource (such as a database query), other tasks can continue executing without being blocked. This helps keep the application responsive even when dealing with slow or unreliable resources.

Raku makes it easy to use both threads and asynchronous programming thanks to its built-in concurrency primitives. The Thread class provides a simple interface for creating and managing threads, while the Supply class enables developers to create asynchronous pipelines for data processing. Additionally, Raku’s reactive programming model makes it easy to write code that responds to events in real time.

10. Optimize your programs by avoiding unnecessary allocations and copying

Raku is a garbage collected language, meaning that memory is automatically managed by the runtime. When an object is no longer referenced, it will be marked for collection and eventually freed from memory. Allocations are expensive operations in Raku because they require the runtime to search for available memory blocks and then mark them as used. Copying objects also requires additional allocations, so avoiding unnecessary copying can help reduce the amount of time spent allocating memory.

To avoid unnecessary allocations and copying, you should use immutable data structures whenever possible. Immutable data structures cannot be modified once created, which means that any changes made to them must create new copies instead of modifying existing ones. This helps ensure that your program only allocates memory when absolutely necessary. Additionally, you should try to reuse existing objects whenever possible instead of creating new ones. Reusing existing objects reduces the number of allocations needed and can improve performance significantly. Finally, you should take advantage of Raku’s built-in features such as lazy evaluation and parallelization to minimize the amount of work done at runtime.


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