source: project/chicken/trunk/README @ 8158

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1
2  README file for the CHICKEN compiler
3  (c)2000-2008 Felix L. Winkelmann
4
5  version 3.0.1
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        USE_HOST_PCRE=
164          The PCRE library is included with the CHICKEN
165          distribution to remove external dependencies and to avoid
166          incompatibilities with any previously installed version. If
167          you want to link with an installed libpcre, set this
168          variable to a non-empty value. Only use this feature if you
169          know what you are doing.
170
171        To remove CHICKEN from your file-system, enter (probably as
172        root):
173
174            make PLATFORM=<platform> PREFIX=<destination> uninstall
175
176        (If you gave DESTDIR during installation, you have to pass
177        the same setting to "make" when uninstalling)
178
179        In case you invoke "make" with different configuration parameters,
180        it is advisable to run
181
182            make PLATFORM=<platform> confclean
183
184        to remove old configuration files.
185
186
187 3. Usage:
188
189        Documentation can be found in the directory
190        PREFIX/share/chicken/doc. The HTML documentation (in
191        "PREFIX/share/chicken/doc/html") is automatically generated
192        from the Wiki pages at <http://chicken.wiki.br/>. Go there to
193        read the most up to date documentation.
194
195
196 4. Extension:
197
198        A large number of extension libraries for CHICKEN are
199        available at
200        <http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/eggs/>. You can
201        automatically download, compile and install extensions with
202        the "chicken-setup" program. See the CHICKEN User's Manual for
203        more information.
204
205        Windows users: Note that you must have "tar" and "gunzip"
206        programs installed and available through the "PATH"
207        environment variable to extract extensions. If you don't
208        download and extract the extensions ("eggs") manually using a
209        browser and the decompression program of your choice and run
210        "chicken-setup" in the directory where you extracted the
211        extension archive.
212
213        Windows binaries for common UNIX utilities (most notably "tar"
214        and "gunzip") are available here:
215        <http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/tarballs/UnxUtils.zip>.
216
217        A selection of 3rd party libraries, together with source and
218        binary packages for tools helpful for development with CHICKEN
219        are also available at:
220        <http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/tarballs/>.
221
222       
223 5. Platform issues:
224
225        - *BSD system users *must* use GNU make ("gmake") - the makefiles
226          can not be processed by BSD make.
227
228        - Some old Linux distributions ship with a buggy version of
229          the GNU C compiler (2.96). If the system is configured for
230          kernel recompilation, then an alternative GCC version is
231          available under the name `kgcc' (GCC 2.96 can not recompile
232          the kernel). CHICKEN's configuration script should normally
233          be able to handle this problem, but you have to remember to
234          compile your translated Scheme files with `kgcc' instead of
235          `gcc'.
236
237        - Older versions of Solaris have a bug in ld.so that causes
238          trouble with dynamic loading.  Patching Solaris fixes the
239          problem. Solaris 7 needs patch 106950-18. Solaris 8 has an
240          equivalent patch, 109147-16.
241
242          You can find out if you have these patches installed by
243          running:
244
245          % showrev -p | grep 106950    # solaris 7
246          % showrev -p | grep 109147    # solaris 8
247
248        - On NetBSD it might be possible that compilation fails with a
249          "virtual memory exhausted error".  Try the following:
250
251          % unlimit datasize
252
253        - For Mac OS X, Chicken requires libdl, for loading compiled
254          code dynamically. This library is available on Mac OS X 10.4
255          (Tiger) by default. For older version you can find it here:
256
257            http://www.opendarwin.org/projects/dlcompat
258
259        - On Mac OS X, Chicken and its eggs can be built as universal
260          binaries which will work on either Intel or PowerPC.
261
262            make PLATFORM=macosx ARCH=universal
263
264        - On Mac OS X, Chicken can be built in 64-bit mode on Intel
265          Core 2 Duo systems--basically, most recent machines.  The default
266          is 32-bit mode.  To enable 64-bit mode, invoke `make` thusly:
267
268            make PLATFORM=macosx ARCH=x86-64
269
270        - On Windows, only mingw32 <http://mingw.sourceforge.net/> and
271          Cygwin is supported (Microsoft Visual Studio is
272          NOT). Makefiles for mingw under MSYS and Windows shell are
273          provided (`Makefile.mingw-msys' and `Makefile.mingw').
274         
275        - Cygwin will not be able to find the chicken shared libraries
276          until Windows is rebooted.
277
278        - gcc 3.4 shows sometimes warnings of the form
279
280            easyffi.c: In function `f_11735':
281            easyffi.c:18697: warning: `noreturn' function does return
282       
283          when compiling the system or compiled Scheme files. These
284          warnings are bogus and can be ignored.
285
286
287 6. Emacs support:
288
289        An emacs mode is provided in the file `hen.el'. To use it,
290        copy it somewhere into a location you normally use for emacs
291        extensions. If you want to add a specific location permanently
292        to the list of paths emacs should search for extensions, add
293        the following line to your `.emacs' file:
294
295          (setq load-path
296            (cons
297              "<directory-where-your-emacs-lisp-files-live>"
298              load-path))
299
300        Add
301
302          (require 'hen)
303       
304        To make "hen-mode" available, and enter it by issuing the
305        command M-x hen-mode.
306
307        A copy of Alex Shinn's highly useful tab-completion code is
308        also included in `scheme-complete.el'. Install it like `hen.el'
309        and add this code to your `.emacs':
310
311          (autoload 'scheme-smart-complete "scheme-complete" nil t)
312          (eval-after-load 'scheme
313            '(progn (define-key scheme-mode-map "\e\t" 'scheme-smart-complete)))
314
315        Or:
316
317          (eval-after-load 'scheme
318            '(progn (define-key scheme-mode-map "\t" 'scheme-complete-or-indent)))
319
320        If you use eldoc-mode (included in Emacs), you can also get live
321        scheme documentation with:
322
323        (add-hook 'scheme-mode-hook
324          (lambda ()
325              (setq eldoc-info-function 'scheme-get-current-symbol-info)
326                  (eldoc-mode)))
327
328        Replace "'scheme" in the elisp expressions above with "'hen", if
329        you want to add tab-completion to CHICKEN's own emacs mode.
330
331
332 7. What's next?
333
334        If you find any bugs, or want to report a problem, please consider
335        using the "chicken-bug" tool to create a detailed bug report.
336
337        If you have any more questions or problems (even the slightest
338        problems, or the most stupid questions), then please subscribe
339        to the "chicken-users" mailing list or contact me at:
340
341        <felix@call-with-current-continuation.org>
342
343
344        Have fun!
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