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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  CRITCL_INSTALLER (n)

NAME

critcl_install_guide - Critcl - The Installer’s Guide

CONTENTS

Description
Requisites
     Tcl
     Tcllib
Authors
Keywords
Category
Copyright

DESCRIPTION

Welcome to the C Runtime In Tcl, CriTcl for short, a system to build C extension packages for Tcl on the fly, from C code embedded within Tcl scripts, for all who wish to make their code go faster.

The audience of this document is anyone wishing to build the packages, for either themselves, or others.

For a developer intending to extend or modify the packages we additionally provide
[1] Critcl - License.
[2] Critcl - The Developer’s Guide.

Please read Critcl - How To Get The Sources first, if that was not done already. Here we assume that the sources are already available in a directory of your choice.

REQUISITES

Before Critcl can be build and used a number of requisites must be installed. These are:
[1] The scripting language Tcl. For details see Tcl.
[2] Various packages from the Tcllib bundle for Tcl. For details see Tcllib.
[3] A working C compiler and development environment.
This list assumes that the machine where Critcl is to be installed is essentially clean. Of course, if parts of the dependencies listed below are already installed the associated steps can be skipped. It is still recommended to read their sections though, to validate that the dependencies they talk about are indeed installed.

    TCL

As we are building a Tcl package that should be pretty much obvious that a working Tcl installation is needed, and I will not belabor the point.

Out of the many use whatever you are comfortable with, as long as it provides Tcl 8.5, or higher, and Tk 8.5 or higher.

This may a Tcl installation provided by your operating system distribution, from a distribution-independent vendor, or built by yurself.

Myself, I used ActiveState’s [http://www.activestate.com] ActiveTcl 8.5 distribution during development of the binding, as I am most familiar with it.

(Disclosure: I, Andreas Kupries, work for ActiveState, maintaining ActiveTcl and TclDevKit for them).

This distribution can be found at http://www.activestate.com/activetcl. Retrieve the archive of ActiveTcl 8.5 for your platform and install it as directed by ActiveState.

Assuming that ActiveTcl got installed I usually run the command


teacup update

to install all packages ActiveState provides, and the kitchensink, as the distribution itself usually contains only the ost important set of packages. This ensures that the dependencies for Critcl are all present, and more.

If that is not to your liking you have to read the sections for Critcl to determine the exact set of packages required, and install only these using


teacup install $packagename

Both teacup commands above assume that ActiveState’s TEApot repository at http://teapot.activestate.com is in the list of repositories accessible to teacup. This is automatically ensured for the ActiveTcl distribution. Others may have to run


teacup archive add http://teapot.activestate.com

to make this happen.

For those wishing to build Tcl/Tk on their own, their sources can be found at
Tcl http://core.tcl.tk/tcl/
Tk http://core.tcl.tk/tk/

    TCLLIB

To use Critcl a few packages found in the Tcllib bundle are required. These packages are:
[1] cmdline
[2] md5.

And to accelerate this package, it is recommend to get and install one of
[1] tcllibc
[2] md5c
[3] Trf

The system will work without them, but can become quite slow, especially when handling large code blocks.
[3] snit

Assuming that ActiveTcl is installed, or some other Tcl installation with teacup available, most (not md5c) of these packages can be installed via


teacup install $packagename

The teacup command above assumes that ActiveState’s TEApot repository at http://teapot.activestate.com is in the list of repositories accessible to teacup. This is automatically ensured for the ActiveTcl distribution. Others may have to run


teacup archive add http://teapot.activestate.com

to make this happen.

Now, for those wishing to install the packages from source, the fossil repository for the two bundles can be found at https://core.tcl.tk/tcllib and https://core.tcl.tk/tklib.

Releases of Tcllib and Tklib can be found there as well, or fossil can be used to check out specific revisions.

Tcl- and Tklib come with their own installation instructions. These will not be repeated here. If there are problems with their directions please file a bug against the Tcllib project at the above url, and not CriTcl.

    C COMPILER

To actually build packages based on critcl we need a working C compiler.

How to install such and all the associated header files, libraries, etc. is heavily platform- and system-dependent, and thus outside of the scope of this document. Note that I am willing to extend this section with links of interest to tutorials, howtos and references for the various platforms.

The important pieces of information are this:
[1] The path to the C compiler binary must be found in the environment variable PATH, for critcl to find it.
[2] On Windows(tm) the environment variable LIB must be present and contain the paths of the directories holding Microsoft’s libraries. The standard critcl configuration for this platform searches these paths to fine-tune its settings based on available libraries and compiler version.
Links of interest:
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/programming.html

BUILD & INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS

    BUILD & INSTALLATION (UNIX)

This section describes the actions required to install CriTcl on Unix systems (Linux, BSD, and related, including OS X). If you have to install CriTcl on a Windows machine see section Build & Installation (Windows) instead. To install Critcl simply run

/path/to/tclsh /path/to/critcl/build.tcl install

where "/path/to/tclsh" is the tclsh of your Tcl installation, and "/path/to/critcl" the location of the Critcl sources on your system.

This builds all packages and then places them in a directory where the tclsh will find them.

It further creates a "critcl" application script and places it into the directory tclsh resides in, making it a sibling of that executable. Note that the installed critcl application is modified to use the chosen tclsh instead of searching for one on the PATH.

On Windows you can invoke the file "build.tcl" with a double-click. This will pop up a small graphical interface for entering the destination and performing the installation. This handling of a double-click is restricted to Windows only however.

The build system provides a small GUI for those not comfortable with the command line. This GUI is accessible by invoking "build.tcl" without any arguments.

To get help about the methods of "build.tcl", and their complete syntax, invoke "build.tcl" with argument help, i.e., like


/path/to/tclsh /path/to/critcl/build.tcl help

    BUILD & INSTALLATION (WINDOWS)

This section describes the actions required to install CriTcl on Windows(tm) systems. If you have to install CriTcl on a Unix machine (Linux, BSD, and related, including OS X) see section Build & Installation (Unix) instead. To install Critcl simply run

/path/to/tclsh /path/to/critcl/build.tcl install

where "/path/to/tclsh" is the tclsh of your Tcl installation, and "/path/to/critcl" the location of the Critcl sources on your system.

This builds all packages and then places them in a directory where the tclsh will find them.

It further creates a "critcl" application script and places it into the directory tclsh resides in, making it a sibling of that executable.

Attention! Note that while the installed critcl application is modified to use the chosen tclsh instead of searching for one on the PATH this is useless for Windows, which associates executables with files through their extension.

Attention! The current installer does not put an extension on the critcl application, forcing users to either explicitly choose the tclsh to run the application, or manually rename the installed file to "critcl.tcl", if an association for ".tcl" is available, to either tclsh, or wish.

On Windows you can invoke the file "build.tcl" with a double-click. This will pop up a small graphical interface for entering the destination and performing the installation. This handling of a double-click is restricted to Windows only however.

This GUI is also accessible by invoking "build.tcl" without any arguments.

To get help about the methods of "build.tcl", and their complete syntax, invoke "build.tcl" with argument help, i.e., like


/path/to/tclsh /path/to/critcl/build.tcl help

    FIRST USE, TESTING THE INSTALLATION

With critcl installed it is now the time to try at least one of the examples distributed with it. This will also test if the installation was successful.

Below I show the steps to generate and then use the low- and high-level stack example packages. I am intentionally bypassing the "build.tcl" file the example is coming with, to show the use of critcl itself.

Some more explanations before running the example:
o Here "path/to/critcl" is the path to the installed critcl application, not the critcl source directory.

Also, on Windows(tm) this part of the example must be replaced with


/path/to/tclsh /path/to/critcl

as the installed application has no extension and thus Windows will not know how to execute the script.

Only if the installed application was manually renamed to "critcl.tcl" and the machine has an association for ".tcl" to either tclsh or wish then the "/path/to/tclsh" can be left out.

o The example shows only the commands entered on the shell (and tclsh) command line. Their responses are left out.

If any command throws an error, i.e. has a problem, then all following commands will run into some other error as well, as a consequence of the first problem.

o Use of option -keep causes critcl to leave the generated .c files behind, for edification. Normally this happens only in case of trouble.
o Use of option -cache redirects the location of the directory to hold generated and build files to a local directory with a known name, for an easy look after.
o Both cstack and stackc have to use the same -cache so that stackc will find the stub table headers exported by cstack.


> cd examples/stack > /path/to/critcl -keep -cache B -pkg cstack.tcl > /path/to/critcl -keep -cache B -pkg stackc.tcl

> tclsh % lappend auto_path [pwd]/lib % package require stackc % join [info loaded] \n % stackc S % S push FOO % S size % S destroy % exit >

AUTHORS

Jean Claude Wippler, Steve Landers, Andreas Kupries

BUGS, IDEAS, FEEDBACK

This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report them at https://github.com/andreas-kupries/critcl/issues. Ideas for enhancements you may have for either package, application, and/or the documentation are also very welcome and should be reported at https://github.com/andreas-kupries/critcl/issues as well.

KEYWORDS

C code, Embedded C Code, code generator, compile & run, compiler, dynamic code generation, dynamic compilation, generate package, linker, on demand compilation, on-the-fly compilation

CATEGORY

Glueing/Embedded C code

COPYRIGHT

Copyright (c) Jean-Claude Wippler
Copyright (c) Steve Landers
Copyright (c) 2011-2015 Andreas Kupries

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