[Openmcl-devel] Clozure CL 1.2-rc1 available

Gary Byers gb at clozure.com
Sun Apr 20 14:55:50 UTC 2008

As threatened/promised for ... well, for a long time now, Clozure CL 1.2-rc1
tarballs are now available in:


The tar archives in that directory contain svn 1.4.x (not CVS)
metainformation and are larger than usual as a result ("svn
metainformation" means something very much like "two copies of
everything", so that's to be expected.)  If you prefer, you can
also use a subversion client to download everything:

shell> svn co http://svn.clozure.com/publicsvn/openmcl/release/1.2/PLATFORM/ccl

- where PLATFORM is one of linuxppc, darwinppc, linuxx8664, darwinx8664, or
freebsdx8664 - will check out all sources and binaries/interfaces for the
specified platform.

At least one minor annoyance: doing


will generate a warning about a free variable reference in some EasyGUI
method, just before saving the application bundle.  (I noticed this a
week ago and promptly forgot about it.  Don't laugh: you'll be old
someday, too.)

Release notes (which are in ccl/doc/release-notes.txt) follow:
ClozureCL 1.2

Welcome to the first ClozureCL (aka OpenMCL) release in about 2.5 years!
(There have been a lot of 1.1-prerelease snapshots in that time frame,
and there's been a lot of development activity; hopefully, it'll be
a little easier for people who wish to use a relatively stable version
to do so and still make it easy for those who want to track the bleeding
edge of development to do so.)

[In the fall of 2007, Alice Hartley of Digitool announced that MCL (the
commercial product from which OpenMCL was derived) would be opensourced.
In order to reduce potential confusion between the new "open MCL" and
"OpenMCL" - and to coincidentally make the primary implementation package
and default installation directory name ("ccl") meaningful again - we
decided to rename OpenMCL to "Clozure CL" (or "CCL").  There are still
references to the old name in URLs, bits and pieces of the lisp itself,
mailing lists, and elsewhere.]

Obtaining Clozure CL
Gzip'ed tar archives of Clozure CL 1.2  are available via anonymous FTP


in files whose names are of the form

RELEASE-LEVEL may be "rcN" to indicate "release candidate N", or absent, and
PLATFORM is one of "linuxppc", "darwinppc", "linuxx8664", "darwinx8664", or
"freebsdx8664".  The "ppc" archives contain 32- and 64-bit binaries and
interfaces; the x8664 archives are (still) 64-bit only.  All archives
contain full sources and documentation, and also svn 1.4x metainformation
(see below.)

It's also possible to check out content equivalent to any of these
archives by using an "svn" client (again, see below.).  The URL is of the


where PLATFORM is defined as above.

To check out a fresh copy of the current CCL 1.2 distribution for DarwinPPC,
one would do something like:

shell> cd some-directory-that-doesn't-have-a-ccl-subdirectory
shell> svn co http://svn.clozure.com/publicsvn/openmcl/release/1.2/darwinppc/ccl

We plan on making disk images (.dmg files) containing the Cocaa IDE and
the full CCL distribution available in the near future.


Documentation is available online at:


A recent version of the HTML documentation is also included in the
distribution, along with the DocBook source from which it's derived.
These release notes describe some important recent (for some value
of "recent") changes.

Bug Reporting

Please use the trac instance at


to review existing bug reports and submit new ones.

CVS out, SVN in:

Until the spring of 2007, ClozureCL used CVS for revision control;
tar archives for the 1.0 release and 1.1 snapshots contained CVS
metainformation, and it was generally possible to use "cvs update"
and related commands to update an installation to the latest version.

At that time, we switched to using the Subversion ("SVN") revision
control system, but continued to mirror the main line of development
in CVS (to the extent that this was possible, given some limitations
of CVS.)

This release is entirely SVN-based and makes use of Subversion features
that can't be supported in CVS. Subversion clients are widely available
for all platforms that ClozureCL runs on:

  - FreeBSD and Linux users will likely find that subversion packages
    are readily available through their distribution's package management

  - 'svn' is preinstalled on OSX Leopard

  - OSX Tiger users can install Subversion via Fink or MacPorts, or
    look at <http://downloads.open.collab.net/binaries.html> for other

It should be possible to use GUI svn clients if you prefer.

Note that the tar archives that contain ClozureCL distributions
contain svn metainformation that assumes the use of a version 1.4 or
later svn client; the format of some of that metainformation isn't
understood by older clients.  If you have an older client (and can't
install something more up-to-date), you ignore the tarballs and just
check out the full CCL distribution (sources, binaries, interfaces
...) via svn.

Quick guide to svn:
shell> cd ccl           # wherever that is ...
shell> svn update       # try to synch working copy with svn repository

shell> svn revert <files> # discard local changes to <files>, recover
                           # versions from last update.

svn notes/issues

svn does a fairly good job of handling binary files, and in fact the
CCL lisp kernel, heap image, and interface database files are maintained
in svn.  (One benefit of this scheme is that it may be a little easier
to distribute modified heap images that reflect changes that may be hard
to bootstrap from source.)  Occasionally, an "svn update" operation may
fail to replace a locally-modified copy of a binary file; when this
happens, one way to recover is to use "svn revert" to discard local

The "Welcome ..." banner (and the string returned by
LISP-IMPLEMENTATION-VERSION) contain the repository's revision number
(an integer that increases whenever any file in the CCL repository
changes) as of the time that the lisp image is built.  If there are
locally-modified files (including re-compiled kernels or heap images)
in the working copy, the revision number may contain a trailing "M"
character; this isn't very significant, but might be a little mysterious.

1.1 release notes
All of the information contained in the file ccl/doc/release-notes-1.1.txt
should be incorporated into the documentation; people who didn't use
the 1.1 "snapshot" releases might find that file to be worth skimming.
Some highlights include:

  - use of Unicode internally, and support for reading and writing streams
encoded in many commonly-used character encoding schemes.
  - support for 64-bit x86 (amd64/x86-64) hardware (32-bit Intel support
is under active development, but is not yet ready for public consumption.)
  - many changes to the Cocoa Bridge, lots of enhancements to the Cocoa-based
IDE (which runs on 32-bit DarwinPPC under Tiger and Leopard and on 64-bit
DarwinX8664 on Leopard.
  - lots of other changes (didn't I already write down descriptions of
them somewhere ?

More recent changes

- The keywords :MCL and :OPENMCL-HASH-CONSING have been removed from
*FEATURES*, and the keywords :CLOZURE-COMMON-LISP, :CCL and :CCL-1.2
have been added.  :OPENMCL-HASH-CONSING denoted an experimental
feature that was never used, and the presence of :MCL created some
confusion (OpenMCL/CCL and commercial MCL have been diverging for
about 10 years now, and many of the things that typically need read-time
conditionalization - pathname syntax, threading, networking ... - need
to be conditionalized differently for the two implementations.)  Code
that has used the presence/absence of the :MCL feature to conditionalize
for OpenMCL may need to be reviewed.

The presence of :CCL-1.2 should be viewed as "features described in the
Clozure CL 1.2 documentation are present", i.e., "this is at least version
1.2 of CCL".

There should also be a "simple" keyword denoting the OS name - :LINUX,

- sockets support :CONNECT-TIMEOUT arguments and streams (including sockets)
support :READ-TIMEOUT and :WRITE-TIMEOUT arguments in their creation functions
(OPEN, MAKE-SOCKET, etc.)  An active socket connect operation that takes
longer than the number of seconds specified in the socket's :CONNECT-TIMEOUT
argument - or an I/O operation that takes longer than the applicable
:READ-TIMEOUT or :WRITE-TIMEOUT's argument - will cause an error to be

- profiling via Apple's CHUD tools (finally) works on 64-bit versions of
CCL.  See ccl/library/chud-metering.txt for details.

- profiling on x86-64 Linux - using the 'oprofile' profiler - is now 
supported (or, more accurately, it's possible to generate symbolic 
information that allows 'oprofile' and related tools to give meaningful
names to lisp functions.)  See ccl/library/oprofile.txt for details.

- on OSX/Darwin, pathnames are now recognized as being encoded in
"decomposed UTF-8", which isn't quite as bad as it sounds.  (This
should mean that pathnames that contain non-ASCII characters should
be handled correctly.)

- in the Cocoa IDE, Hemlock editor commands now run in the main event
thread (they used to run in a dedicated, per-window thread), and many
other aspects of Hemlock/Cocoa integration have been simplified and
improved.  Aside from offering greater stability, these changes make
the Hemlock programming interface a lot more tractable.  People
interested in writing Hemlock editor commands for use in the IDE may
find a revised version of the Hemlock Command Implementor's Manual
<http://trac.clozure.com/openmcl/wiki/HemlockProgrammer> useful.

When run as a standalone application, the IDE provides a "console"
window which displays diagnostic output that otherwise only appears
in the system logs.

- lots of bug fixes, smaller changes, and performance improvements.

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