Author(s): Daniel Cabeza and the CLIP Group.
Version: 1.10#6 (2004/8/7, 21:46:39 CEST)
Version of last change: 1.9#98 (2003/8/27, 12:39:15 CEST)
ciaoc [CH00b] is the Ciao stand-alone command-line compiler.
ciaoc can be used to create executables or to compile individual files to object code (to be later linked with other files).
ciaoc is specially useful when working from the command line. Also, it can be called to compile Ciao programs from other tools such as, e.g.,
project files. All the capabilities of
ciaoc are also available from the interactive top-level shell, which uses the ciaoc modules as its components.
executable can be built from a single file or from a collection of inter-related files. In the case of only one file, this file must define the predicate
main/1. This predicate is the one which will be called when the executable is started. As an example, consider the following file, called
main :- write('Hello world'), nl.
To compile it from the command line using the
ciaoc standalone compiler it suffices to type "
ciaoc hello" (in Win32 you may have to put the complete path to the
ciaoc folder of the Ciao distribution, where the installation process leaves a
/herme@clip:/tmp > ciaoc hello /herme@clip:/tmp >
This produces an executable called
hello in Un*x-like systems and
hello.cpx under Win32 systems. This executable can then be run in Win32 by double-clicking on it and on Un*x systems by simply typing its name (see for section Running executables from the command line for how to run executables from the command line in Win32):
/herme@clip:/tmp > hello Hello world
If the application is composed of several files the process is identical. Assume
hello.pl is now:
:- use_module(aux,[p/1]). main :- p(X), write(X), nl.
where the file
:- module(aux,[p/1]). p('Hello world').
This can again be compiled using the
ciaoc standalone compiler as before:
/herme@clip:/tmp > ciaoc hello /herme@clip:/tmp > hello Hello world
The invocation of
ciaoc hello compiles the file
hello.pl and all connected files that may need recompilation -- in this case the file
aux.pl. Also, if any library files used had not been compiled previously they would be compiled at this point (See section Intermediate files in the compilation process). Also, if, say,
hello.pl is changed and recompiled, the object code resulting from the previous compilation of
aux.pl will be reused. This is all done without any need for
Makefiles, and considerably accelerates the development process for large applications. This process can be observed by selecting the
-v option when invoking
ciaoc (which is equivalent to setting the
verbose_compilation Prolog flag to
on in the top-level interpreter).
main/1 is defined instead of
main/0 then when the executable is started the argument of
main/1 will be instantiated to a list of atoms, each one of them corresponding to a command line option. Consider the file
main(Argv) :- write_list(Argv), nl. write_list(). write_list([Arg|Args]) :- write(Arg), write(' '), write_list(Args).
Compiling this program and running it results in the following output:
/herme@clip:/tmp > ciaoc say /herme@clip:/tmp > say hello dolly hello dolly
The name of the generated executable can be controlled with the
-o option (See section Usage (ciaoc)).
The compiler will look for files mentioned in commands such as
ensure_loaded/1 in the current directory. Other paths can be added by including them in a file whose name is given to
ciaoc using the
-u option. This file should contain facts of the predicates
library_directory/1 (see the documentation for these predicates and also section Customizing library paths and path aliases for details).
As mentioned before, what the
ciaoc compiler generates and how it is started varies somewhat from OS to OS. In general, the product of compiling an application with
ciaoc is a file that contains the bytecode (the product of the compilation) and invokes the
Ciao engine on it.
bashshell that comes with the Cygwin libraries (see section Installation and compilation under Windows) it suffices to type its name at the shell command line, as in the examples above.
.cpxending. The Ciao installation process typically makes sure that the Windows registry contains the right entries so that this executable will run upon double-cliking on it. In you want to run the executable from the command line an additional
.batfile is typically needed. To help in doing this, the Win32 installation process creates a
.batskeleton file called
Win32folder of the distribution) which allows running Ciao executables from the command line. If you want to run a Ciao executable
file.cpxfrom the command line, you normally copy the skeleton file to the folder were the executable is and rename it to
file.bat, then change its contents as explained in a comment inside the file itself. Note that this
.batfile is usually not necessary in NT, as its command shell understands file extension associations. I.e., in windows NT it is possible to run the
file.cpxexecutable directly. Due to limitations of
.batfiles in Windows 95/98, in those OSs no more than 9 command line arguments can be passed to the executable (in NT there is no such restriction). Finally, in a system in which Cygnus Win32 is installed executables can also be used directly from the
bashshell command line, without any associated
.batfiles, by simply typing their name at the
bashshell command line, in the same way as in Un*x. This only requires that the
bashshell which comes with Cygnus Win32 be installed and accessible: simply, make sure that
Except for a couple of header lines, the contents of executables are almost identical under different OSs (except for self-contained ones). The bytecode they contain is architecture-independent. In fact, it is possible to create an executable under Un*x and run it on Windows or viceversa, by making only minor modifications (e.g., creating the
.bat file and/or setting environment variables or editing the start of the file to point to the correct engine location).
While the default options used by
ciaoc are sufficient for normal use, by selecting other options
ciaoc can generate several different types of executables, which offer interesting tradeoffs among size of the generated executable, portability, and startup time [CH00b]:
ciaocproduces by default dynamic executables. In this case the executable produced is a platform-independent file which includes in compiled form all the user defined files. On the other hand, any system libraries used by the application are loaded dynamically at startup. More precisely, any files that appear as
ensure_loaded/1declarations will not be included explicitly in the executable and will instead be loaded dynamically. Is is also possible to mark other path aliases (see the documentation for
file_search_path/2) for dynamic loading by using the
-doption. Files accessed through such aliases will also be loaded dynamically. Dynamic loading allows making smaller executables. Such executables may be used directly in the same machine in which they were compiled, since suitable paths to the location of the libraries will be included as default in the executable by
ciaocduring compilation. The executable can also be used in another machine, even if the architecture and OS are different. The requirement is that the Ciao libraries (which will also include the appropriate Ciao engine for that architecture and OS) be installed in the target machine, and that the
CIAOENGINEenvironment variables are set appropriately for the executable to be able to find them (see section Environment variables used by Ciao executables). How to do this differs slightly from OS to OS.
ciaocproduces a static executable. In this case the executable produced (again a platform-independent file) will include in it all the auxiliary files and any system libraries needed by the application. Thus, such an executable is almost complete, needing in order to run only the Ciao engine, which is platform-specific.(1) Again, if the executable is run in the same machine in which it was compiled then the engine is found automatically. If the executable is moved to another machine, the executable only needs access to a suitable engine (which can be done by setting the
CIAOENGINEenvironment variable to point to this engine). This type of compilation produces larger executables, but has the advantage that these executables can be installed and run in a different machine, with different architecture and OS, even if Ciao is not installed on that machine. To install (or distribute) such an executable, one only needs to copy the executable file itself and the appropriate engine for the target platform (See section Installing Ciao from the source distribution or section Installing Ciao from a Win32 binary distribution and section Multiarchitecture support), and to set things so that the executable can find the engine. (2)
-loption is very similar to the case of dynamic executables above, except that the code in the library modules is not loaded when the program is started but rather it is done during execution, the first time a predicate defined in that file is called. This is advantageous if a large application is composed of many parts but is such that typically only some of the parts are used in each invocation. The Ciao preprocessor,
ciaopp, is a good example of this: it has many capabilitites but typically only some of them are used in a given session. An executable with lazy load has the advantage that it starts fast, loading a minimal functionality on startup, and then loads the different modules automatically as needed. Please beware that initialization directives appearing in a module which is lazily loaded currently are not executed until the module is effectively loaded. Since this happens when the module is first required at runtime, the compiler cannot guarantee the exact time and order in which these directives are executed.
-Soption. Cross-compilation is also possible with the
-SSoption, so you can specify the target OS and architecture (e.g. LINUXi86). To be able to use the latter option, it is necessary to have installed a ciaoengine for the target machine in the Ciao library (this requires compiling the engine in that OS/architecture and installing it, so that it is available in the library).
-zoption. You can also produce compressed libraries if you use
-zlalong with the
-coption. If you select
-zlwhile generating an executable, any library which is compiled to accomplish this will be also compressed.
-aoption) a given file into an active module (see section Active modules (high-level distributed execution) for a description of this).
The executables generated by the Ciao compiler (including the ciao development tools themselves) locate automatically where the Ciao engine and libraries have been installed, since those paths are stored as defaults in the engine and compiler at installation time. Thus, there is no need for setting any environment variables in order to run Ciao executables (on a single architecture -- see section Multiarchitecture support for running on multiple architectures).
However, the default paths can be overridden by using the environment variables
CIAOLIB. The first one will tell the Ciao executables where to look for an engine, and the second will tell them where to look for the libraries. Thus, it is possible to actually use the Ciao system without installing it by setting these variables to the following values:
$(CIAOARCH) is the string echoed by the command
BINROOT/ciao_get_arch, after installation).
This allows using alternate engines or libraries, which can be very useful for system development and experimentation.
Compiling an individual source (i.e.,
.pl) file produces a
.itf file and a
.po file. The
.itf file contains information of the
modular interface of the file, such as information on exported and imported predicates and on the other modules used by this module. This information is used to know if a given file should be recompiled at a given point in time and also to be able to detect more errors statically including undefined predicates, mismatches on predicate charaterictics across modules, etc. The
.po file contains the platform-independent object code for a file, ready for linking (statically or dynamically).
It is also possible to use
ciaoc to explicitly generate the
.po file for one or more
.pl files by using the
The following provides details on the different command line options available when invoking
ciaoc <MiscOpts> <ExecOpts> [-o <execname>] <file> ... Make an executable from the listed files. If there is more than one file, they must be non-module, and the first one must include the main predicate. The -o option allows generating an arbitrary executable name. ciaoc <MiscOpts> <ExecOpts> -a <publishmod> <module> Make an active module executable from <module> with address publish module <publishmod>. ciaoc <MiscOpts> -c <file> ... Compile listed files (make .po objects). <MiscOpts> can be: [-v] [-ri] [-u <file>] -v verbose mode -ri generate human readable .itf files -u use <file> for compilation <ExecOpts> can be: [-s|-S|-SS <target>|-z|-zl|-e|-l|(-ll <module>)*] (-d <alias>)* [-x] -s make a static executable (otherwise dynamic files are not included) -S make standalone executable for the current OS and architecture -SS make standalone executable for <target> OS and architecture valid <target> values may be: LINUXi86, SolarisSparc... (both -S and -SS imply -s) -z generate executables with compressed bytecode -zl generate libraries with compressed bytecode - any library (re)compiled as consequence of normal executable compilation will also be affected -e make executable with eager load of dynamic files at startup (default) -l idem with lazy load of dynamic files (except insecure cases) -ll force <module> to be loaded lazily, implies -l -d files using this path alias are dynamic (default: library) -x Extended recompilation: only useful for Ciao standard library developers default extension for files is '.pl'
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