by Fons Rademakers for the ROOT team. Published: 31 January 2014

The ROOT team is proud to announce the first beta release of ROOT 6. This beta release is targeted at the LHC experiments' ongoing migration to ROOT 6.

ROOT 6 is going to be a major update of the ROOT system. Notably the "good old" CINT C++ interpreter will be replaced by the brand new cling C++(11) interpreter. Cling is built on top of the rock solid Open Source clang/LLVM compiler infrastructure, which provides the MacOS X production compiler.

However, replacing CINT by cling is like performing open heart surgery and requires a lot of painstaking work to make the new interpreter work like the old one in terms of compatibility and usability. Of course, ROOT 6 will be backward and forward compatible with respect to the ROOT file format.

The great thing of moving to cling is that it will allow future versions of ROOT to support all of the latest C++ language features, focusing on interface improvements and concurrency.

As a large number of challenges are still ahead of us, two more betas are scheduled along the way (end of January and end of March) before v6.00 is released by the end of May. We encourage you to follow our development which happens on the master branch of our ROOT git. While Beta 1 was for the experiments, the subsequent betas will focus on usability. We appreciate your feedback along the way!