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<readme title="README - The findlib library manager">

<p>The "findlib" software provides a scheme to manage reusable software
components in the form of libraries, and includes tools that support
this scheme. A library installed as a findlib component is also called
a package. The point is that the findlib scheme allows it to store
metainformation about the library, especially how it can be used in
programs. The packages are kept in the filesystem hierarchy, but the
directory structure is defined by findlib, and there is no way to
deviate from this standard. The library contains functions to look the
directory up that stores a package, to query metainformation about a
package, and to retrieve dependency information about multiple
packages. There is also a tool that allows the user to enter queries
on the command-line. In order to simplify compilation and linkage,
there are new frontends of the various OCaml compilers that can
directly deal with packages.

    <p>It is important to understand that findlib is <em>not</em> a
general-purpose package manager (like rpm for Linux), and does <em>not</em>
support the management of arbitrary files, but only O'Caml libraries.
However, there are lots of special functions for libraries. findlib
is more comparable with Gnome's pkg-config and Perl's MakeMaker, but
of course there are language-specific differences.</p>

    <p>The metainformation includes:</p>

      <li><p>The necessary command-line arguments to use a library.</p>
      <li><p>Dependencies on other packages.</p>
      <li><p>Version strings.</p>

    <p>These data can be conditional. Possible conditions are certain
environmental settings, such as whether the bytecode or the native code
compiler is used, or whether the application is multi-threaded. It is
also possible that a package behaves differently when a certain other
package is selected.</p>

    <p>There is special support for scripts. It is possible to load
libraries into toploops, including all dependent libraries, with only
one command.</p>

    <p>Findlib has been developed since March 1999, and has matured
for more than four years until the release of version 1.0. One of the
important questions during this long period of development was which
features are necessary and which not. The result is a utility that
follows still simple concepts, but is flexible enough to allow even
the description of complex libraries and complex interdependencies.


    <p>See the file QUICKSTART for the most important findlib commands.</p>

    <p>There is a User's Guide introducing into the concepts of findlib,
especially explaining how to create packages.</p>

    <p>The Reference Manual describes commands, directory structure,
configuration files, and library routines in detail.</p>


    <p>See the file INSTALL.</p>

      The current version is announced in the
      <a href="&url.linkdb;">Objective Caml Link Database</a>.

    <title>Copyright and License Conditions</title>
      Findlib is copyright 2003 by Gerd Stolpmann. See the file LICENSE
      for the MIT/X11 style license conditions.

      Contact me at gerd@gerd-stolpmann.de in case of questions.

    <title>List of Changes</title>

Adding support for ocamlmklib (B. Meurer's patches)</p>
Fix: if a META file defines several packages, and one of the packages
has a broken dependency, ocamlfind used to report all errors even if
the broken packages were not used. This is now changed - broken
subpackages are ignored when they are not needed, in the same way as
broken top-level packages are ignored when not needed. (Thanks to
Sylvain Le Gall for reporting the problem.)</p>
      <p>Added -thread and -vmthread switches to "ocamlfind ocamldoc".
These actually only add the right predicates. (Thanks to Vladimir
Ivanov for pointing this problem out.)</p>
      <p>Package warnings can be emitted by "ocamlfind ocamldoc".</p>
      <p><em>1.2.6:</em> adding META for ocamlbuild</p>
      <p>Fixes for MinGW/MSYS platform</p>
      <p>Improved messages</p>
      <p><em>1.2.5:</em> Fix: Again CR deletion... Turns out some OS do not
        understand '\r' but only '\015' (thanks to Isaiah Weiner)</p>
      <p>Support for Win64 (untested; thanks to David Allsopp)</p>
      <p>ocamlfind no longer emits auto-generated -ccopt options. These
         tend to accumulate, and it is possible that for large projects
         the maximum command line length is exceeded. Current versions of
         the O'Caml compilers do not need these extra -ccopt anyway, so
         this code is completely dropped.</p>

      <p><em>1.2.4:</em> Fix: Bigarray needs unix (Thanks to Markus Mottl)</p>
      <p>Fix: In the version of camlp4 provided by O'Caml 3.11 various
         libraries do not contain dynlink anymore. Because of this, dynlink
         becomes a prerequisite of camlp4. (Thanks to Martin Jambon)</p>
      <p>Attempt: Fixing the space issue for paths (Win32). It is unclear
         whether it is solved. (Thanks to Christophe Troestler)</p>

      <p><em>1.2.3:</em> Solving the CR deletion differently, to
         make OS X happy.</p>

      <p><em>1.2.2:</em> Fix: Problem with CR character (Cygwin)
        (Thanks to David Allsopp)
      <p>Fix: Case-insensitive filesystems (partially solved)
        (Thanks to David Allsopp)
	<p>Fix: File name with backslashes at the end (Win32; 
           thanks to Dmitry Grebeniuk)</p>

	<p><em>1.2.1:</em> Fix: Camlp4 rules now activate the
stream parser extension</p>

	<p><em>1.2:</em> Fix in build scripts: Prepending $(prefix)
when installing safe_camlp4 (thanks to Daniel Janus)</p>
	<p>Non-existing -I directories are ignored
(thanks to Nicolas Pouillard)</p>
        <p>A script to create a MacOS X package (thanks to
Pietro Abate)</p>
	<p>Better support for Windows (with help from Robert
Roessler and David Allsopp)</p>
	<p>Support for camlp4 on O'Caml 3.10</p>
	<p>Fix: "ocamlfind install" with "-patch" option writes
now correct META file for the case that subpackages occur</p>
	<p>Adding environment variable OCAMLFIND_IGNORE_DUPS_IN
to reduce the number of warnings ocamlfind emits</p>

	<p><em>1.1.2:</em> Bugfix in the META parser: Backslashes are now
correctly parsed. (Thanks to Martin Jambon for finding this problem.)</p>
	<p>Fixes for platforms that do not support dynamic loading of
	<p>Fixed extraction of camlp4 parameters from packages.</p>

	<p><em>1.1.1:</em> Bugfixes only: Fixed detection of threading model
for O'Caml 3.09. Fixed alternate configuration files.</p>

         <p><em>1.1:</em> Automatic detection of standard compiler options.</p>

         <p>Liberated the checks whether a package is already installed.</p>

         <p>The .opt compilers are entered into findlib.conf if available.</p>

         <p>New: "install" has -optional switch for optional files.</p>

         <p>New: "install" has -patch-version to patch the version into
the installed META file.</p>

         <p>New: "install" has -patch-rmpkg to remove subpackages from
the installed META file.</p>

         <p>New: "install" has -patch-archives which removes non-existing
files from "archive" variables. This is experimental.</p>

         <p>New: subpackages can be disabled by exists_if.</p>

         <p>New: Support for toolchains.</p>

         <p>Fix for "remove": -destdir works again.</p>

         <p>Fix for "call": CTRL-C works when calling interactive commands.</p>

         <p>Fix for preprocessor packages: Dependencies on normal packages
are resolved.</p>


      <li><p><em>1.0.4:</em> Fix: In previous versions, "ocamlmktop"
set the "toploop" predicate. It turned out, however, that the toploops
generated in this way did not work properly. For this reason,
"ocamlmktop" does not set "toploop" any more for link time, but
instead a new predicate "create_toploop".  When the toploop is
executed, the predicate "toploop" is again added.</p>

      <li><p><em>1.0.3:</em> Fix: The relative position of "-cclib -l"
      options on the command line is preserved. In previous versions,
these options were moved to the beginning of the argument list. This
did not work for static link editing; dynamic link editing was not
      <p>Fix: The automatic fixup of "threads" dependencies
works again. In the previous version, this was broken.</p>
	<p>Addition: -format '%(name)' for ocamlfind query.</p>
	<p>Some minor improvements of the documentation.</p>

      <li><p><em>1.0.2:</em> Fix: The alternate package layout did
not fully work. This is repaired now, and there are some clarifications
about relative directory paths in the documentation.</p>

      <li><p><em>1.0.1:</em> Fix: Forgot to install some .cmi

      <li><p><em>1.0:</em> It is now possible to divide the
description of a package into subpackages (but there is still only one
META file, but with enhanced syntax). This allows it to describe
intra-package dependencies.</p>

	<p>Predicates in META files can be negated.</p>

	<p>The "error" variable allows you to detect conditions under which
the library would not work, and to generate error messages.</p>

	<p>It is possible to refer to archive files installed in other

	<p>The set of predicates is extended by "package predicates"
after the dependency analysis, making conditions expressable that
depend on whether other packages are selected.</p>

	<p>The "+=" operator in META files adds words to variables rather
than setting them.</p>

	<p>The "#thread" directive enables multi-threading in toploops and
scripts, if possible.</p>

	<p>The "#predicates" directive simplifies the addition of predicates.

	<p>Queries: The format specifier %D prints the description of
the package. -long-format includes the description. Short options
-r, -l, -d.</p>

	<p>ocamlfind list -describe prints package descriptions.</p>

	<p>Support for "ocamlfind ocamldoc". However, the implementation is
quite sloppy.</p>

	<p>The configuration file is called "findlib.conf" by default,
not "ocamlfind.conf".</p>

	<p>Removal of "ocamlfind guess".</p>

	<p>Support for #use "findlib" and #use "ocamlfind" has been
removed. The only remaining way to load findlib is by #use "topfind".</p>

	<p>There is no longer a thread-safe version of findlib. The user
has to ensure that only one thread uses findlib (which is usually trivial
to achieve).</p>

	<p>ocamlmktop: Directories are no longer automatically added
to the search path. This did not work anyway, and this change forces
scripts to always invoke "#require" to load/enable libraries, for
better uniformity.</p>

	<p>Fixes: num-top works. "ocamlfind ocamlopt -thread" generates
a better error message on non-POSIX systems. "ocamlfind query -descendants"
takes predicates into account (it did not do that in previous versions of

      <li><p><em>0.9:</em> Changes for O'Caml 3.07 (-thread,
      -vmthread). Includes Zack's toploop printers for bigints.</p>

      <li><p><em>0.8 - 0.8.1:</em> Renamed a lot of modules to avoid name
	clashes with O'Caml core modules.  Cygwin: Additional option
	-cygpath for "configure".  The man pages have a NAME
	section. Bugfix in Makefile wizard.</p>

      <li><p><em>0.7 - 0.7.2:</em> DLLs: There are now two styles of
	  installation: DLLs can be installed in the package
	  directories (like before), or in a shared directory
	  "stublibs". For the first style, there is now an option
	  "ldconf" that determines whether the ld.conf file is to be
	  updated, and if so, which file. The latter style is enabled
	  by simply creating a directory "stublibs" in the site-lib
	  directory. (In the first version the directory was called
	  "libexec". By user request, the name of the DLL directory
	  has been changed to "stublibs".)</p>

	<p>"ocamlfind install" preserves now the mtime of the files.</p>

	<p>"ocamlfind printconf" is more flexible, and easier to call
	from scripts.</p>

	<p>"ocamlfind browser" calls ocamlbrowser with the right -I

	<p>"ocamlfind query": -descendants implies now -recursive.</p>

	<p>"ocamlfind ocamldep": -native-filter and -bytecode-filter for more
	exact dependency generation.</p>

	<p>There may be now postinstall and postremove scripts.</p>

	<p>"ocamlfind pkg/cmd": This syntax can be used to call the program cmd
	that is installed in the package directory for pkg. Intended to
	simplify the invocation of programs that are installed in package
	directories and not in XXX/bin, which may be useful for package-
	related tools.</p>

	<p>Findlib has now a toolbox containing helpful programs besides
	ocamlfind. For the beginning, there is a Makefile wizard that
	can be called by "ocamlfind findlib/make_wizard".</p>

	<p>#use "topfind" instead of #use "findlib" to avoid name clashes
	in a certain configuration. #use "findlib" and #use "ocamlfind"
	are still supported for backward compatibility if the name clash
	does not occur.</p>

	<p>Fix: bytecode threads work again. (The wrong unix library was
	linked for recent O'Caml versions.)</p>

	<p>Many smaller improvements; the docs have been updated.</p>

      <li><p><em>0.6 - 0.6.2:</em> Minor changes for Ocaml-3.03-alpha
	  (and later for 3.04). New #list directive. New: #use
	  "findlib" loads the findlib directives into every toploop

	<p>The file ld.conf is automatically updated when DLLs are
	installed or removed.</p>

	<p>Fix: /tmp/findlib_initf* no longer overflows. The thread
	library is now always the first linked library.</p>

      <li><p><em>0.5 - 0.5.4:</em> Findlib has now a configuration
	file (see documentation under findlib.conf). Much more
	environment variables. The location of the standard library is
	now configurable at runtime.

	<p>The package search path can now be selected independently
	of the package installation directory.</p>

	<p>New commands: ocamlfind list, ocamlfind printconf, ocamlfind guess
	(See documentation under ocamlfind)</p>

	<p>Optional alternate directory layout: All META files go into
	a separate directory (see documentation under site-lib).</p>

	<p>Findlib works now only for O'Caml 3; support for O'Caml 2 has been
	dropped. As a consequence, the "configure" script could be
	simplified; it is no longer necessary to figure out the
	linker options.</p>

	<p>Improved support for camlp4: New directives #camlp4o and
	#camlp4r for the toploop.</p>

	<p>ocamlfind now detects whether two selected packages have
	equally named toplevel modules, and prints a warning in this case.</p>

	<p>There is a downstripped version ocamlfind-mini (see directory
	"mini"). This is a one-file script that can be easily
	distributed with any software. ocamlfind-mini has reduced
	functionality, but it is sufficient to compile and install a
	library. (But it does not support using a library.)</p>

	<p>Support for the Cygwin port of O'Caml.</p>

	<p>Installation of packages: The file permissions are
	preserved when files are installed.  However, the umask is
	applied. The "install" and "remove" subcommands have better

	<p>ocamlfind ocamlmktop: Generates now initialization code for the
	include path. You don't need to call your toploop with -I
	options any more. Furthermore, this fixes some problems with
	packages that add printers to the toploop.</p>

	<p>New: ocamlfind ocamldep. ocamlfind is now prepared for the new
	-pp option of ocamldep (upcoming Ocaml 3.03).</p>

	<p>Installation of findlib: New PREFIX variable in Makefile to
	install locally.</p>

	<p>Fixes: itest. ocamlfind query -descendants works again.</p>

      <li><p><em>0.4:</em> Experimental support for camlp4 (see FAQ
	section in the manual).  New environment variable
	OCAMLFIND_COMMANDS (see ocamlfind(1)).

      <li><p><em>0.3 - 0.3.1:</em> Necessary updates for O'Caml
3. Bugfix: Findlib did not work for bytecode threads. The reason was
that findlib added the directory of the stdlib to the search
path. Works now.

    <p>Older changes are no longer documented.</p>