[Openmcl-devel] Building OpenMCL from cvs

Gary Byers gb at clozure.com
Thu Jul 22 14:30:16 PDT 2004

On Thu, 22 Jul 2004, Thom Goodsell wrote:

> I realize that this appears to be covered in the documentation
> (<http://openmcl.clozure.com/Doc/ch10.html>), but this seems to be
> aimed at people who have a much greater understanding than I do.

Dan Knapp recently started reorganizing the documentation, and I think
that that makes it a little more obvious (to me, at least) that the
current Chapter 10 needs an overview.

The circular, chicken-and-egg dependencies probably strike some
people as unusual (you can't just download the sources and type:

$ ./configure
$ make

), at least as things are (and have traditionally been) released.

The Fink and Darwinports (and possibly Debian) projects package
OpenMCL with scripts and makefiles that automate the build process,
and - especially given that there are finally "full" source/binary
distributions - providing a Makefile that'd rebuild everything might
be useful and would provide people with a more useful starting point.
(At the same time - especially on Darwin/OSX - some people may not
have developer tools installed, and it should be possible to rebuild
everything but the lisp kernel without them.)

One way to reorganize Chapter 10 might be to start off with a full
step-by-step transcript (such as the ones Marco Baringer and Barry
Perryman provided in a response to your message, and/or similar
replies that other people have provided when this question's been
asked before), and have subsequent sections describe the steps in
detail (Somewhere - either before that transcript or between it and
the details - there probably needs to be some overview of why the
build steps are necessary and of what they do.)

Some people have asked why they need a lisp image to build a lisp image
("why can't I just build from source ?").  (These people have clearly
never tried to compile GCC on a machine that doesn't have a C compiler
installed.)  Whatever new users' expectations are, they're probably
a little different from reality, and it seems to be harder than it
should be for new users to get oriented.

The actual build steps probably aren't too complicated (and the detailed
documentation that describes them seems accurate), but the "big picture"
is probably harder to come by than it needs to be.

> Thanks,
> Thom Goodsell
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> Openmcl-devel at clozure.com
> http://clozure.com/mailman/listinfo/openmcl-devel

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