source: project/chicken/trunk/README @ 7217

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1
2  README file for the CHICKEN compiler
3  (c)2000-2007 Felix L. Winkelmann
4
5  version 2.739
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 defaults 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 "chicken" executable, all Scheme
82        sources are recompiled with it. From this stage on
83        bootstrapping isn't necessary anymore, as long as you have a
84        compiler binary in your source tree.
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 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 prefix to use for compiling
153          code with the "csc" compiler driver. This is required for creating
154          a "cross chicken", a specially built CHICKEN that invokes a cross
155          C compiler to build the final binaries. You will need a cross compiled
156          runtime system by building a version of CHICKEN with the "HOST" option
157          mentioned above. More information about this process and the variables
158          that you should set are provided in the CHICKEN wiki at
159          <http://chicken.wiki.br/cross-compilation>.
160
161        To remove CHICKEN from your file-system, enter (probably as
162        root):
163
164            make PLATFORM=<platform> PREFIX=<destination> uninstall
165
166        (If you gave DESTDIR during installation, you have to pass
167        the same setting to "make" when uninstalling)
168
169        In case you invoke "make" with different configuration parameters,
170        it is advisable to run
171
172            make PLATFORM=<platform> confclean
173
174        to remove old configuration files.
175
176
177 3. Usage:
178
179        Documentation can be found in the directory
180        PREFIX/share/chicken/doc. The HTML documentation (in
181        "PREFIX/share/chicken/doc/html") is automatically generated
182        from the Wiki pages at <http://chicken.wiki.br/>. Go there to
183        read the most up to date documentation.
184
185
186 4. Extension:
187
188        A large number of extension libraries for CHICKEN are
189        available at
190        <http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/eggs/>. You can
191        automatically download, compile and install extensions with
192        the "chicken-setup" program. See the CHICKEN User's Manual for
193        more information.
194
195        Windows users: Note that you must have "tar" and "gunzip"
196        programs installed and available through the "PATH"
197        environment variable to extract extensions. If you don't
198        download and extract the extensions ("eggs") manually using a
199        browser and the decompression program of your choice and run
200        "chicken-setup" in the directory where you extracted the
201        extension archive.
202
203        Windows binaries for common UNIX utilities (most notably "tar"
204        and "gunzip") are available here:
205        <http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/tarballs/UnxUtils.zip>.
206
207        A selection of 3rd party libraries, together with source and
208        binary packages for tools helpful for development with CHICKEN
209        are also available at:
210        <http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/tarballs/>.
211
212       
213 5. Platform issues:
214
215        - *BSD system users *must* use GNU make ("gmake") - the makefiles
216          can not be processed by BSD make.
217
218        - Some old Linux distributions ship with a buggy version of
219          the GNU C compiler (2.96). If the system is configured for
220          kernel recompilation, then an alternative GCC version is
221          available under the name `kgcc' (GCC 2.96 can not recompile
222          the kernel). CHICKEN's configuration script should normally
223          be able to handle this problem, but you have to remember to
224          compile your translated Scheme files with `kgcc' instead of
225          `gcc'.
226
227        - Older versions of Solaris have a bug in ld.so that causes
228          trouble with dynamic loading.  Patching Solaris fixes the
229          problem. Solaris 7 needs patch 106950-18. Solaris 8 has an
230          equivalent patch, 109147-16.
231
232          You can find out if you have these patches installed by
233          running:
234
235          % showrev -p | grep 106950    # solaris 7
236          % showrev -p | grep 109147    # solaris 8
237
238        - On NetBSD it might be possible that compilation fails with a
239          "virtual memory exhausted error".  Try the following:
240
241          % unlimit datasize
242
243        - For Mac OS X, Chicken requires libdl, for loading compiled
244          code dynamically. This library is available on Mac OS X 10.4
245          (Tiger) by default. For older version you can find it here:
246
247            http://www.opendarwin.org/projects/dlcompat
248
249        - On Mac OS X, Chicken can be built in 64-bit mode on Intel
250          Core 2 Duo systems--basically, most recent machines.  The default
251          is 32-bit mode.  To enable 64-bit mode, invoke `make` thusly:
252
253            make PLATFORM=macosx ARCH=x86-64
254
255        - On Windows, only mingw32 <http://mingw.sourceforge.net/> and
256          Cygwin is supported (Microsoft Visual Studio is
257          NOT). Makefiles for mingw under MSYS and Windows shell are
258          provided (`Makefile.mingw-msys' and `Makefile.mingw').
259         
260        - Cygwin will not be able to find the chicken shared libraries
261          until Windows is rebooted.
262
263        - gcc 3.4 shows sometimes warnings of the form
264
265            easyffi.c: In function `f_11735':
266            easyffi.c:18697: warning: `noreturn' function does return
267       
268          when compiling the system or compiled Scheme files. These
269          warnings are bogus and can be ignored.
270
271
272 6. Emacs support:
273
274        An emacs mode is provided in the file `hen.el'. To use it,
275        copy it somewhere into a location you normally use for emacs
276        extensions. If you want to add a specific location permanently
277        to the list of paths emacs should search for extensions, add
278        the following line to your `.emacs' file:
279
280          (setq load-path
281            (cons
282              "<directory-where-your-emacs-lisp-files-live>"
283              load-path))
284
285        Add
286
287          (require 'hen)
288       
289        To make "hen-mode" available, and enter it by issuing the
290        command M-x hen-mode.
291
292        A copy of Alex Shinn's highly useful tab-completion code is
293        also included in `scheme-complete.el'. Install it like `hen.el'
294        and add this code to your `.emacs':
295
296          (autoload 'scheme-smart-complete "scheme-complete" nil t)
297          (eval-after-load 'scheme
298            '(progn (define-key scheme-mode-map "\e\t" 'scheme-smart-complete)))
299
300        Or:
301
302          (eval-after-load 'scheme
303            '(progn (define-key scheme-mode-map "\t" 'scheme-complete-or-indent)))
304
305        If you use eldoc-mode (included in Emacs), you can also get live
306        scheme documentation with:
307
308        (add-hook 'scheme-mode-hook
309          (lambda ()
310              (setq eldoc-info-function 'scheme-get-current-symbol-info)
311                  (eldoc-mode)))
312
313        Replace "'scheme" in the elisp expressions above with "'hen", if
314        you want to add tab-completion to CHICKEN's own emacs mode.
315
316
317 7. What's next?
318
319        If you find any bugs, or want to report a problem, please consider
320        using the "chicken-bug" tool to create a detailed bug report.
321
322        If you have any more questions or problems (even the slightest
323        problems, or the most stupid questions), then please subscribe
324        to the "chicken-users" mailing list or contact me at:
325
326        <felix@call-with-current-continuation.org>
327
328
329        Have fun!
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