[Ecls-list] ECL on Mac OS X, general new-to-ECL issues

Thomas F. Burdick tfb at OCF.Berkeley.EDU
Sat Mar 12 08:38:22 UTC 2005

I've been meaning to look at ECL for a while, but now that I have a
need for a CL that can be linked as a library from C, I decided to
actually try it out.  I downloaded the 0.9e tarball to try out on my
Mac, and ran into a number of issues on the way.

First, some general newbie-unfriendliness: the link on the web page
labelled "Installing" does not give any instructions on installation,
nor does the documentation in the tarball.  It's just autoconf-based,
so I had no problem figuring it out, but a README file with a
description of the options available would be nice.

The next issue I had is the _D macro.  Names starting with an
underscore are generally a bad idea in C, but one-letter ones?!?!  One
of the Darwin header files defines a few such macros, causing ECL to
fail to build.  After changing the definition and uses of ECS's _D to
ECL_D, the system compiled.

After doing a 'make install', my executable fails, trying to link
against /lib/libecl.dylib.  Shouldn't that have been taken care of by
the --prefix argument I passed to configure?  If I start ecl with a
shell script that sets DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH, it seems to work, though.

The manuals didn't address any of the questions I had.  Primarily, how
do I interface with the C world?  C-linkage being ECL's raison d'être,
I'd expect the "hello-world" example to explain how to call Lisp from
C.  Also, what's the state of the precise garbage collector, and what
is the long-term relationship with Boehm's?

Are any developers actually working on the Mac?  The fact that ECL
didn't build out-of-the-box makes me suspect that it's a neglected
port.  In that case, it would be nice if the list of supported
platforms said which were regularly used by the developers, and which
are less aggressively tested.

Has any work been done on a SLIME interface, or anything similar?  Is
there an Emacs hiding in the distro somewhere that I'm missing?  What
do you all use as your editor<->lisp interface?


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