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View of /sml/trunk/src/runtime/c-libs/README

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Revision 651 - (download) (annotate)
Thu Jun 1 18:34:03 2000 UTC (20 years, 1 month ago) by monnier
File size: 1686 byte(s)
bring revisions from the vendor branch to the trunk
This is the root directory of the ML callable C library source.  
Versions of SML/NJ up to 106, used a single monolithic library
of C functions that were callable from ML, with a single table
of C function bindings.  This meant that to add a C function,
required changing the run-time system source.  In the new scheme,
the runtime system supports an extensible set of libraries that
are configured at build time.  Note, however, that since the run-
time system and ML heap images are separate files, one can extend
the run-time system with additional libraries and then use existing
ML heap images with the extended run-time system.  See the file
HOWTO-ADD-C-CODE in the notes directory for more details.

The decentralization of the libraries represents a first step in
an ongoing process to make the ML/C interface easier to extend.
There will be continue to be changes in the way that these
libraries are organized and supported.  Here is a tentative list
of anticipated changes:

  1) as we move towards the new SML basis, the libraries will be
     reorganized and redefined to reflect the new semantics.

  2) support for non UNIX systems (Windows NT, Windows 95, OS/2,
     and MacOS), will result in different versions of libraries
     for different systems.

  3) the generation of library interfaces will be automated.  We plan
     an extension to SML that we will feed into a preprocessor to
     generate both the ML code that binds the C functions, and the
     C function prototype declarations and library tables (the stuff
     that is in "*/cfun-list.h" and "*/*-lib.c").

  4) support for dynamic loading of C libraries on machines that have
     dynamic linking.

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