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README file for Gambit-C
Quick-install instructions for a typical installation
git clone
cd gambit
./configure --enable-single-host
make bootstrap
make bootclean
make check
sudo make install
Detailed installation instructions are given in the file "INSTALL.txt".
General information
Gambit-C includes a Scheme interpreter and a Scheme compiler which can
be used to build standalone executables. Because the compiler
generates portable C code it is fairly easy to port to any platform
with a decent C compiler.
The Gambit-C system conforms to the R4RS, R5RS and IEEE Scheme standards.
The full numeric tower is implemented, including: infinite precision
integers (bignums), rationals, inexact reals (floating point numbers),
and complex numbers. Gambit-C supports a number of extensions to the
standards including:
- an optimizing compiler
- with several powerful transformations (automatic function inlining,
speculative inlining of primitives, partial evaluation, etc)
- that generates properly tail-recursive portable C code
- a scalable thread system that can handle millions of concurrent threads
- an I/O system fully integrated with the thread system that supports
- regular files
- ttys (terminals and serial ports)
- sockets (client and server, with TCP or UDP)
- directories
- processes
- pipes
- an infix syntax extension (SIX) that allows mixing code in the
standard prefix syntax with code in a C-like syntax
- the following SRFIs:
- SRFI 0 (Feature-based conditional expansion construct)
- SRFI 4 (Homogeneous numeric vector datatypes)
- SRFI 6 (Basic String Ports)
- SRFI 8 (RECEIVE: Binding to multiple values)
- SRFI 9 (Defining Record Types)
- SRFI 18 (Multithreading support)
- SRFI 21 (Real-time multithreading support)
- SRFI 22 (Running Scheme Scripts on Unix)
- SRFI 23 (Error reporting mechanism)
- SRFI 27 (Sources of Random Bits)
- SRFI 39 (Parameter objects)
- a REPL/debugger with
- a continuation inspection facility (i.e. "backtrace")
- a single-stepping mode
- error messages with location of error (file, line, and column number)
- emacs compatible line-editing with history
- very efficient bignum implementation
- a foreign function interface for C
- a memory management system that grows and shrinks the heap based on
the program's needs
- a linker that builds standalone executables and shared libraries
- dynamic loading of compiled modules and libraries (supported on many
- Unicode support for characters, strings, I/O and source code
- object finalization
- pretty printing
- keyword objects
- optional and keyword parameters (with the syntax and semantics of DSSSL)
- configurable reader with control over case sensitivity
- write/read invariance of symbols, e.g. (string->symbol "B;123") => |B;123|
- write/read invariance of floating point numbers
- unhygienic macros
- and many other things!
The user manual for the Gambit-C system is available in PDF format
(the file "doc/gambit-c.pdf"), in HTML format (the file
"doc/gambit-c.html"), in text format (the file "doc/gambit-c.txt") and
in "info" format (the files "doc/*").
The Gambit mailing list ( is a good
place to ask questions about Gambit.
The latest official release of the system and other helpful documents
related to Gambit can be obtained from the Gambit wiki at:
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