Racket v8.5 Released

Racket version 8.5 is now available from

As of this release:

  • Racket's new -y flag automatically keeps compiled files up to date, reducing subsequent load times.
  • Error-message realms allow Racket-hosted languages to adapt and rewrite error messages to make sense in a particular context.
  • Nonprivileged users can control package installation scope using an "other-version" directory in the addon-dir.
  • Racket CS runs on platforms where native-code generation is not currently supported (e.g., s390x or ppc64). See "README.txt" in the source distribution for more information on the --enable-pb flag to configure.
  • DrRacket's new 'Reopen Closed Tab' file menu item will open previously closed tabs.
  • Typed Racket has support for the xml library; use typed/xml.
  • Rackunit reports source locations for failed test cases in the Typed Racket language.
  • Plot has violin plots and improved box-and-whisker plots.
  • Boxes are supported alongside lists, vectors etc. in place-channel messages.
  • Those who manually configure Racket CS to use Zlib compression for compiled code should be aware of CVE-2018-25032; the next release and the current snapshot builds use a newer, safer version of zlib.
  • The release includes many other repairs and changes!

The following people contributed to this release:

Alex Harsányi, Alexander Shopov, Alexis King, Andrew Mauer-Oats, Ben Greenman, Benedek Szilvasy, Bert De Ketelaere, Bogdan Popa, Cameron Moy, Chung-chieh Shan, Fred Fu, Gustavo Massaccesi, J. Ryan Stinnett, Jamie Taylor, Joel Dueck, John Clements, Joseph Griego, Khadija Sidhpuri, Laurent Orseau, Maciej Barć, Matthew Flatt, Matthias Felleisen, Mike Sperber, Noah Ma, Philip McGrath, Robby Findler, Ryan Culpepper, Sam Tobin-Hochstadt, Sorawee Porncharoenwase, Stephen De Gabrielle, Tim Jervis, and Trevor Paley

Link to package regressions issue for the 8.5 release: https://github.com/racket/racket/issues/4202


If you are new to Racket and have questions or need a hand getting started: Discourse and Discord
are the most active places for Racketeers.

@jbclements: thanks!

I have a feedback for future releases: I think it might be worth waiting for pkg-build and docs.racket-lang.org to be fully updated to a new version first and announce the release to coincide with when the update is done. I recall there were some confusions in the 8.4 release for why the doc site was not updated, which was not resolved for like a week. My opinion is that a slight delay in the release is preferred to the confusion.


This is a good idea:

This affected at least one new user this time and I have certainly had it come up at previous releases.

The announcement of a new release is a natural time to get new users and it is good and right to try make the experience as pleasant as possible.

Other suggestions for the release announcement on the blog;

If you are new to Racket…

  1. How to get started
  1. where to ask for help

If you are new to Racket and have questions or need a hand getting started: Discourse and Discord are the most active places.

  1. how to use raco pkg migrate

If you are upgrading from an earlier version of racket, after installing run raco pkg migrate to update any locally installed packages

  1. The next online racket meet-up is at …

I would appreciate any feedback or comments.


PS I’m now going to set a reminder on this for June so I remember it in time for the July release of 8.6!