Tactics Written in OCaml

Théo Zimmermann edited this page Apr 23, 2018 · 2 revisions

(Part of the Coq FAQ)

:warning: Note: this page is currently known to be outdated. Some help to update it would be welcome.

Can you show me an example of a tactic written in OCaml?

Have a look at the skeleton “Hello World” tactic below. You also have some examples of tactics written in OCaml in the “plugins” directory of Coq's source.

Is there a skeleton of OCaml tactic I can reuse somewhere?

The following steps describe how to write a simplistic “Hello world” OCaml tactic. This takes the form of a dynamically loadable OCaml module, which will be invoked from the Coq toplevel.

  1. In the plugins directory of the Coq source location, create a directory hello. Proceed to create a grammar and OCaml file, respectively plugins/hello/g_hello.ml4 and plugins/hello/coq_hello.ml, containing:

in g_hello.ml4:

(*i camlp4deps: "grammar/grammar.cma" i*)
| [ "hello" ] -> [ Coq_hello.printHello ]

in coq_hello.ml:

let printHello gl =
Tacticals.tclIDTAC_MESSAGE (Pp.str "Hello world") gl
  1. Create a file plugins/hello/hello_plugin.mllib, containing the names of the OCaml modules bundled in the dynamic library:
  1. Append the following lines in plugins/plugins{byte,opt}.itarget:

in in pluginsopt.itarget:


in pluginsbyte.itarget:

  1. In the root directory of the Coq source location, modify the file Makefile.common:

    • add hello to the SRCDIR definition (second argument of the addprefix function);
    • in the section “Object and Source files”, add HELLOCMA:=plugins/hello/hello_plugin.cma;
    • add $(HELLOCMA) to the PLUGINSCMA definition.
  2. Modify the file Makefile.build, adding in section “3) plugins” the line:

hello: $(HELLOCMA)
  1. From the command line, run make hello, then make plugins/hello/hello_plugin.cmxs.

The call to the tactic hello from a Coq script has to be preceded by Declare ML Module "hello_plugin", which will load the dynamic object hello_plugin.cmxs. For instance:

Declare ML Module "hello_plugin".
Variable A:Prop.
Goal A-> A.
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