source: project/chicken/branches/irregular/README @ 12330

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1
2  README file for the CHICKEN compiler
3  (c)2000-2008 Felix L. Winkelmann
4
5  version 4.0.0x1-irregular
6
7
8 1. Introduction:
9
10        CHICKEN is a Scheme-to-C compiler supporting the language
11        features as defined in the 'Revised^5 Report on
12        Scheme'. Separate compilation is supported and full
13        tail-recursion and efficient first-class continuations are
14        available.
15
16        Some things that CHICKEN has to offer:
17
18        1. CHICKEN generates quite portable C code and compiled files
19           generated by it (including itself) should work without any
20           changes on DOS, Windows, most UNIX-like platforms, and with
21           minor changes on other systems.
22
23        2. The whole package is distributed under a BSD style license
24           and as such is free to use and modify as long as you agree
25           to its terms.
26
27        3. Linkage to C modules and C library functions is
28           straightforward. Compiled programs can easily be embedded
29           into existing C code.
30
31        4. Loads of extra libraries.
32
33        Note: Should you have any trouble in setting up and using
34        CHICKEN, please ask questions on the Chicken mailing list. You
35        can subscribe to the list from the Chicken homepage,
36        http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org)
37
38
39 2. Installation:
40
41        First unzip the package ("unzip chicken-<version>.zip" or "tar
42        xzf chicken-<version>.tar.gz" on UNIX or use your favorite
43        extraction program on Windows).
44
45        Building CHICKEN requires GNU Make. Other "make" derivates are
46        not supported. If you are using a Windows system and do not
47        have GNU Make, see below for a link to a precompiled set of
48        UNIX utilities, which among other useful tools contains "make".
49
50        Configuration and customization of the build process is done by
51        either setting makefile variables on the "make" command line or
52        by editing the platform-specific makefile.
53
54        Invoke "make" like this:
55
56          make PLATFORM=<platform> PREFIX=<destination>
57
58        where "PLATFORM" specifies on what kind of system CHICKEN
59        shall be built and "PREFIX" specifies where the executables
60        and libraries shall be installed. Out-of-directory builds are
61        currently not supported, so you must be in the toplevel source
62        directory to invoke "make".
63
64        Enter "make" without any options to see a list of supported
65        platforms.
66
67        If you build CHICKEN directly from the development sources out
68        of the subversion repository, you will need a "chicken"
69        executable to generate the compiled C files from the Scheme
70        library sources. If you have a recent version of CHICKEN
71        installed, then pass "CHICKEN=<chicken-executable>" to the
72        "make" invocation to override this setting. "CHICKEN" defaults
73        to "$PREFIX/bin/chicken".
74
75        If you do not have a "chicken" binary installed, enter
76
77          make PLATFORM=<platform> PREFIX=<destination> bootstrap
78
79        which will unpack a tarball containing precompiled C sources
80        that are recent enough to generate the current version. After
81        building a statically linked compiler executable (named
82        "chicken-boot") all *.scm files are marked for rebuilt. By
83        passing "CHICKEN=./chicken-boot" to "make", you can force
84        using this bootstrapped compiler to build the system.
85
86        The build may show errors when creating the info(1)
87        documentation, if you do not have GNU texinfo installed.
88        This is not fatal - the build should proceed.
89
90        If CHICKEN is build successfully, you can install it on your
91        system by entering
92
93          make PLATFORM=<platform> PREFIX=<destination> install
94
95        "PREFIX" defaults to "/usr/local". Note that the PREFIX is
96        compiled into several CHICKEN tools and must be the same
97        while building the system and during installation.
98
99        To install CHICKEN for a particular PREFIX on a different
100        location, set the "DESTDIR" variable in addition to "PREFIX":
101        It designates the directory where the files are installed
102        into.
103
104        You can further enable various optional features by adding
105        one or more of the following variables to the "make"
106        invocation:
107
108        DEBUGBUILD=1
109          Disable optimizations in compiled C code and enable
110          debug information.
111
112        STATICBUILD=1
113          Build only static versions of the runtime library, compiler
114          and interpreter. `chicken-setup' will not be generated,
115          as it is mostly useless unless compiled code can be loaded.
116
117        SYMBOLGC=1
118          Always enable garbage collection for unused symbols in the
119          symbol table by default. This will result in slightly slower
120          garbage collection, but minimizes the amount of garbage
121          retained at runtime (which might be important for long
122          running server applications). If you don't specify this
123          option you can still enable symbol GC at runtime by passing
124          the `-:w' runtime option when running the program.
125
126        NOAPPLYHOOK=1
127          For maximum performance this will disable support for
128          breakpoints, but speed up procedure invocation in safe
129          code. Smaller binaries can be obtained by also giving
130          "NOPTABLES=1", but that means serialization (available
131          as a separate package) of procedures will not be available.
132
133        C_COMPILER_OPTIMIZATION_OPTIONS=...
134          Override built-in C compiler optimization options. Available
135          for debug or release build.
136
137        PROGRAM_PREFIX=
138          A prefix to prepend to the names of all generated executables.
139          This allows having multiple CHICKEN versions in your PATH
140          (but note that they have to be installed at different locations).
141
142        PROGRAM_SUFFIX=
143          A suffix to be appended to the names of all generated executables.
144
145        HOSTSYSTEM=
146          A "<machine>-<platform>" name prefix to use for the C compiler to to
147          use to compile the runtime system and executables. Set this variable
148          if you want to compile CHICKEN for a different architecture than
149          the one on which you are building it.
150
151        TARGETSYSTEM=
152          Similar to "HOSTSYSTEM", but specifies the name
153          prefix to use for compiling code with the "csc" compiler
154          driver. This is required for creating a "cross chicken", a
155          specially built CHICKEN that invokes a cross C compiler to
156          build the final binaries. You will need a cross compiled
157          runtime system by building a version of CHICKEN with the
158          "HOST" option mentioned above. More information about this
159          process and the variables that you should set are provided
160          in the CHICKEN wiki at
161          <http://chicken.wiki.br/cross-compilation>.
162
163        SRCDIR=
164          Specifies that CHICKEN should be built outside of its source
165          tree. The SRCDIR variable indicates the location of the
166          CHICKEN source tree. The executables and object files will
167          be generated in the current directory.
168
169
170        To remove CHICKEN from your file-system, enter (probably as
171        root):
172
173            make PLATFORM=<platform> PREFIX=<destination> uninstall
174
175        (If you gave DESTDIR during installation, you have to pass
176        the same setting to "make" when uninstalling)
177
178        In case you invoke "make" with different configuration parameters,
179        it is advisable to run
180
181            make PLATFORM=<platform> confclean
182
183        to remove old configuration files.
184
185
186 3. Usage:
187
188        Documentation can be found in the directory
189        PREFIX/share/chicken/doc. The HTML documentation (in
190        "PREFIX/share/chicken/doc/html") is automatically generated
191        from the Wiki pages at <http://chicken.wiki.br/>. Go there to
192        read the most up to date documentation.
193
194
195 4. Extension:
196
197        A large number of extension libraries for CHICKEN are
198        available at
199        <http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/eggs/>. You can
200        automatically download, compile and install extensions with
201        the "chicken-setup" program. See the CHICKEN User's Manual for
202        more information.
203
204        Windows users: Note that you must have "tar" and "gunzip"
205        programs installed and available through the "PATH"
206        environment variable to extract extensions. If you don't
207        download and extract the extensions ("eggs") manually using a
208        browser and the decompression program of your choice and run
209        "chicken-setup" in the directory where you extracted the
210        extension archive.
211
212        Windows binaries for common UNIX utilities (most notably "tar"
213        and "gunzip") are available here:
214        <http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/tarballs/UnxUtils.zip>.
215
216        A selection of 3rd party libraries, together with source and
217        binary packages for tools helpful for development with CHICKEN
218        are also available at:
219        <http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/tarballs/>.
220
221       
222 5. Platform issues:
223
224        - *BSD system users *must* use GNU make ("gmake") - the makefiles
225          can not be processed by BSD make.
226
227        - Some old Linux distributions ship with a buggy version of
228          the GNU C compiler (2.96). If the system is configured for
229          kernel recompilation, then an alternative GCC version is
230          available under the name `kgcc' (GCC 2.96 can not recompile
231          the kernel). CHICKEN's configuration script should normally
232          be able to handle this problem, but you have to remember to
233          compile your translated Scheme files with `kgcc' instead of
234          `gcc'.
235
236        - Older versions of Solaris have a bug in ld.so that causes
237          trouble with dynamic loading.  Patching Solaris fixes the
238          problem. Solaris 7 needs patch 106950-18. Solaris 8 has an
239          equivalent patch, 109147-16.
240
241          You can find out if you have these patches installed by
242          running:
243
244          % showrev -p | grep 106950    # solaris 7
245          % showrev -p | grep 109147    # solaris 8
246
247        - On NetBSD it might be possible that compilation fails with a
248          "virtual memory exhausted error".  Try the following:
249
250          % unlimit datasize
251
252        - For Mac OS X, Chicken requires libdl, for loading compiled
253          code dynamically. This library is available on Mac OS X 10.4
254          (Tiger) by default. For older versions you can find it here:
255
256            http://www.opendarwin.org/projects/dlcompat
257
258        - On Mac OS X, Chicken and its eggs can be built as universal
259          binaries which will work on either Intel or PowerPC.
260          To build on Tiger (10.4):
261
262            make PLATFORM=macosx ARCH=universal
263
264          On Leopard (10.5), an extra step is required before `make':
265
266            export MACOSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET=10.4
267            make PLATFORM=macosx ARCH=universal
268
269        - On Mac OS X, Chicken can be built in 64-bit mode on Intel
270          Core 2 Duo systems--basically, most recent machines.  The default
271          is 32-bit mode.  To enable 64-bit mode, invoke `make' thusly:
272
273            make PLATFORM=macosx ARCH=x86-64
274
275        - On Windows, mingw32, <http://mingw.sourceforge.net/>,
276          Cygwin, and Visual C/C++ (PLATFORM=msvc) are supported.
277          Makefiles for mingw under MSYS and Windows shell are provided
278          (`Makefile.mingw-msys' and `Makefile.mingw').
279
280        - When installing under the mingw-msys platform, PREFIX must be an
281          absolute path name (i.e. it must include the drive letter).
282
283        - Cygwin will not be able to find the chicken shared libraries
284          until Windows is rebooted.
285
286        - gcc 3.4 shows sometimes warnings of the form
287
288            easyffi.c: In function `f_11735':
289            easyffi.c:18697: warning: `noreturn' function does return
290       
291          when compiling the system or compiled Scheme files. These
292          warnings are bogus and can be ignored.
293
294        - The Visual C build requires GNU make and other POSIX
295          utilities.  Both cygwin and msys (with the Developer's
296          Toolkit) have the necessary utilities. When setting PREFIX,
297          use forward slashes:
298
299          make PLATFORM=msvc PREFIX=c:/development/chicken
300
301          The build has been tested with Visual Studio 2003 and 2008.  If
302          you are able to build Chicken with other versions, please let
303          us know.
304
305          The following additional issues apply when using Chicken with
306          Visual C:
307
308          - Add the /DPIC flag when compiling your source files.  Otherwise
309            you will encounter undefined symbols when linking.  Note that csc
310            does this automatically for dlls but NOT for programs.
311
312          - csc generates dynamics libraries with a .so extension, not .dll.
313
314 6. Emacs support:
315
316        An emacs mode is provided in the file `hen.el'. To use it,
317        copy it somewhere into a location you normally use for emacs
318        extensions. If you want to add a specific location permanently
319        to the list of paths emacs should search for extensions, add
320        the following line to your `.emacs' file:
321
322          (setq load-path
323            (cons
324              "<directory-where-your-emacs-lisp-files-live>"
325              load-path))
326
327        Add
328
329          (require 'hen)
330       
331        To make "hen-mode" available, and enter it by issuing the
332        command M-x hen-mode.
333
334        A copy of Alex Shinn's highly useful tab-completion code is
335        also included in `scheme-complete.el'. Install it like `hen.el'
336        and add this code to your `.emacs':
337
338          (autoload 'scheme-smart-complete "scheme-complete" nil t)
339          (eval-after-load 'scheme
340            '(progn (define-key scheme-mode-map "\e\t" 'scheme-smart-complete)))
341
342        Or:
343
344          (eval-after-load 'scheme
345            '(progn (define-key scheme-mode-map "\t" 'scheme-complete-or-indent)))
346
347        If you use eldoc-mode (included in Emacs), you can also get live
348        scheme documentation with:
349
350        (add-hook 'scheme-mode-hook
351          (lambda ()
352              (setq eldoc-info-function 'scheme-get-current-symbol-info)
353                  (eldoc-mode)))
354
355        Replace "'scheme" in the elisp expressions above with "'hen", if
356        you want to add tab-completion to CHICKEN's own emacs mode.
357
358
359 7. What's next?
360
361        If you find any bugs, or want to report a problem, please consider
362        using the "chicken-bug" tool to create a detailed bug report.
363
364        If you have any more questions or problems (even the slightest
365        problems, or the most stupid questions), then please subscribe
366        to the "chicken-users" mailing list and ask for help. It will
367        be answered.
368
369
370        Have fun!
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