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View of /sml/trunk/src/cm/Doc/11-files.tex

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Revision 986 - (download) (as text) (annotate)
Wed Nov 21 21:03:17 2001 UTC (18 years, 4 months ago) by blume
File size: 4669 byte(s)
Release 110.37 -- see HISTORY
% -*- latex -*-


CM uses three kinds of files to store derived information during and
between sessions:

\item {\it Skeleton files} are used to store a highly abbreviated
version of each ML source file's abstract syntax tree---just barely
sufficient to drive CM's dependency analysis.  Skeleton files are much
smaller and (for a program) easier to read than actual ML source code.
Therefore, the existence of valid skeleton files makes CM a lot faster
because usually most parsing operations can be avoided that way.
\item {\it Binfiles} are the SML/NJ equivalent of object files.  They
contain executable code and a symbol table for the associated ML
source file.
\item {\it Library files} (sometimes called: {\em stablefiles}) contain
dependency graph, executable code, and symbol tables for an entire CM
library including all of its components (groups).  Other libraries
used by a stable library are not included in full.  Instead,
references to those libraries are recorded using their (preferably
anchored) pathnames.

Normally, all these files are stored in a subdirectory of directory
{\tt CM}. {\tt CM} itself is a subdirectory of the directory where the
original ML source file or---in the case of library files---the
original CM description file is located.

Skeleton files are machine- and operating system-independent.
Therefore, they are always placed into the same directory {\tt
CM/SKEL}. Parsing (for the purpose of dependency analysis) will be
done only once even if the same file system is accessible from
machines of different type.

Binfiles and library files contain executable code and other
information that is potentially system- and architecture-dependent.
Therefore, they are stored under {\tt CM/}{\it arch}{\tt -}{\it os}
where {\it arch} is a string indicating the type of the current
CPU architecture and {\it os} a string denoting the current operating
system type.

As explained in Section~\ref{sec:stable}, library files are a bit of
an exception in the sense that they do not require any source files or
any other derived files of the same library to exist.  As a
consequence, the location of such a library file should be described
as being relative to ``the location of the original CM description
file if that description file still existed''.  (Of course, nothing
precludes the CM description file from actually existing, but in the
presence of a corresponding library file CM will not take any notice
of that.)

{\em Note:} As discussed in section~\ref{sec:toolparam:cm}, CM sometimes
looks for library files in {\tt CM/}{\it version}{\tt /}{\it arch}{\tt
-}{\it os}.  However, library files are never {\em created} there by
CM.  If several versions of the same library are to be provided, an
administrator must arrange the directory hierarchy accordingly ``by

\subsection{Time stamps}

For skeleton files and binfiles, CM uses file system time stamps
(i.e., modification time) to determine whether a file has become
outdated.  The rule is that in order to be considered ``up-to-date''
the time stamp on skeleton file and binfile has to be exactly the
same\footnote{CM explicitly sets the time stamp to be the same.} as
the one on the ML source file.  This guarantees that all changes to a
source will be noticed---even those that revert to an older version of
a source file.\footnote{except for the pathological case where two
different versions of the same source file have exactly the same time

CM also uses time stamps to decide whether tools such as ML-Yacc or
ML-Lex need to be run (see Section~\ref{sec:classes}).  However, the
difference is that a file is considered outdated if it is older than
its source.  Some care on the programmers side is necessary since this
scheme does not allow CM to detect the situation where a source file
gets replaced by an older version of itself.

\subsection{Index files}

CM can optionally generate a human-readable index file for each
description file.  An index files alphabetically lists all symbols
defined or imported within the given library or library component.
Index-file generation is normally disabled.  To enable it, {\tt
CM.Control.generate\_index} must be set to true (see

With index-file generation enabled, index files will be written for
all description files involved every time CM performs a dependency
analysis.  (In other words, it is a side-effect to other CM operations
such as {\tt CM.make} etc.)  If the name of the description files is
{\tt $p$/$d$.cm}, then the corresponding index file will be in {\tt

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