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Proposed contrib standard, $Revision$
The SBCL contrib mechanism provides a mechanism to
manage code which does not form part of SBCL itself, but which is
sufficiently closely associated with it that it would not be sensible
to run it as a completely separate project. For example, alternative
top-levels, foreign-function glue for calling out to libraries, editor
support, etc. Portable ANSI code would not usually be considered for
the contrib mechanism, unless it does something that is only useful in
the context of SBCL.
* Responsibilities
The contrib directory is offered for code which is aimed primarily at
SBCL users, and which has release cycles attuned with those of SBCL
itself, but which the SBCL maintainers do not consider to be part of
the core system. This being so, the primary responsibility for
maintaining it remains with the provider of the system; the only
commitment that SBCL maintainers make with respect to contrib code is
to not install stale contrib code: a contrib that fails its test suite
against a given version of SBCL will not be installed in that release.
Note that despite leaving you the contrib maintainer with the
responsibility of maintenance, it doesn't follow that we'd
_necessarily_ offer you CVS access to the SBCL tree: each application
is considered individually. We often do, though.
** Release cycle
During the development cycle, changes to the core system may break
contrib modules. This may indicate bugs in SBCL (which we will
probably want to fix before release anyway) or that the contrib uses
deprecated features or internal symbols.
During the end-of-month freeze, core developers should avoid
committing anything that breaks a previously working contrib module.
Contrib maintainers should checkout the frozen SBCL version and
submit patches where their contribs are broken.
Contrib modules that still don't work at release time will not be
* Packaging
Each contrib package lives in $ROOT/contrib/packagename, and will
install into $(SBCL_HOME)/packagename
A contrib package must contain a Makefile. This is to have three targets
all: # do whatever compilation is necessary
test: # run the package tests
install: # copy all necessary files into $(BUILD_ROOT)$(INSTALL_DIR)
If the contrib package involves more than one file, you are encouraged
to use ASDF to build it and load it. A version of asdf is bundled as
an SBCL contrib, which knows to look in $SBCL_HOME/systems/ for asd
files - your install target should create an appropriate symlink there
to the installed location of the system file. Look in
sb-bsd-sockets/Makefile for an example of an asdf-using contrib.
$(BUILD_ROOT)$(INSTALL_DIR) will have been created by the system
before your install target is called. You do not need to make it
* Tests
You must provide a 'test' target in your package Makefile. This will
be called to test whether your package is OK for installation, so if
you have used SBCL internal interfaces or similar, this would be a
good place to test that they still exist, etc.
* Documentation
Each package should provide documentation in Texinfo format. For the
documentation to be included in the sbcl manual, the following must
- Each Texinfo file must have the extension `.texinfo' so the
automatic manual builder will find it.
- It must contain one @node - @section pair at the top and only
@subsection (or lower) sectioning commands within, e.g.
@node Sample Contrib
@section Sample Contrib
so that the contrib menu can be created automatically.
Take care to choose unique node names.
[ make install should copy the documentation somewhere that the user
can find it ]
* Lisp-level requirements
An sbcl contrib should attempt to avoid stamping on sbcl internals or
redefining symbols in CL, CL-USER. Sometimes this is the only way to do
something, though: individual cases will be considered on their
merits. A package that hacks undocumented(sic) interfaces may be
accepted for contrib, but it does not follow from that that the
interface is now published or will be preserved in future SBCL
versions - contrib authors are encouraged instead to submit patches to
SBCL that provide clean documented APIs which reasonably can be
preserved. If in doubt, seek consensus on the sbcl-devel list
A contrib must load into its own Lisp package(s) instead of polluting
CL-USER or one of the system packages. The Lisp package names should
begin with "SB-". Ask the sbcl-devel list for a suitable name.
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