README.html
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<!-- $Id$ -->
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<head>
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<title>The Isabelle System Distribution</title>
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<body>
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<h1>The Isabelle System Distribution</h1>
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<h2>Version information</h2>
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This is the internal repository version of Isabelle.  See the
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<tt>NEWS</tt> file in the distribution for details on user-relevant
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changes.
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<h2>System requirements</h2>
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Isabelle requires a real Unix box with sufficient resources, say 64 MB
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of free main memory and a decent CPU.  Speaking by today's hardware
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standards, any moderate Linux box should give a very nice platform for
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Isabelle.
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<p>
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Furthermore, Isabelle needs the following software, which is not part
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of the distribution:
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<ul>
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<li>A full Standard ML Compiler (e.g. Poly/ML).
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<li>The GNU bash shell (version 1.x or 2.x).
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<li>Perl 5.x - the Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister (Perl 4.x
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is <em>not</em> sufficient).
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</ul>
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<p>
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The following ML system and platform combinations are known to work
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very well:
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<li>Poly/ML 4.x and 3.x on Linux/x86, Solaris/Sparc, and PowerPC platforms.
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<li>SML/NJ 110.x on any Unix platform (Linux, Suns, SGI etc.).
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</ul>
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<p> <a href="http://www.polyml.org/">Poly/ML</a>, previously a
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commercial product, is back in the free world.  It is by far the best
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compiler for running Isabelle, requiring the least memory and offering
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the highest performance.
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<p> <a href="http://smlnj.sourceforge.net/">SML/NJ</a> needs more
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store and disk space, but on the other hand supports more platforms.
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The current official release is 110.
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<p> MLWorks used to be a commercial ML programming environment
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developed by <a href="http://www.harlequin.com/">Harlequin</a> and was
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unfortunately withdrawn after that company was taken over.  Isabelle
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on MLWorks 2.0 works reasonably well.
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<h2>Installation</h2>
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Binary packages are available for Isabelle/HOL and ZF for several
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platforms from the Isabelle web page.  The system may be easily built
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from scratch as well, taking the traditional tar.gz source
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distribution.  See file <tt>INSTALL</tt> as distributed with Isabelle
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for more information.
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Further background information may be found in the <em>Isabelle System
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Manual</em>, distributed with the sources (directory <tt>doc</tt>).
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<h2>User interface</h2>
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The canonical Isabelle user interface is <a
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href="http://proofgeneral.inf.ed.ac.uk/">Proof General</a> by David Aspinall
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and others.  It is a generic (X)Emacs interface for proof assistants,
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including Isabelle (both for the classic and Isar version).  Proof
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General is suitable for use by pacifists and Emacs militants
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alike. Its most prominent feature is script management, providing a
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metaphor of <em>live proof script editing</em>.  Proof General has
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recently gained a rather large following of both beginning and expert
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users of Isabelle.
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<p>
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Proof General is distributed together with the XEmacs
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<a href="http://x-symbol.sourceforge.net">
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X-Symbol package</a>, which provides a nice way to get proper
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mathematical symbols displayed on screen.
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<h2>Other sources of information</h2>
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<h3>The Isabelle Page</h3>
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The Isabelle home page may be accessed both from Cambridge and Munich:
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<ul>
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<li><a
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href="http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/HVG/Isabelle/">http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/HVG/Isabelle/</a>
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<li><a href="http://isabelle.in.tum.de">http://isabelle.in.tum.de</a>
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</ul>
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<h3>Mailing list</h3>
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The electronic mailing list <tt>isabelle-users@cl.cam.ac.uk</tt>
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provides a forum for Isabelle users to discuss problems and exchange
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information. To join, send a message to <a
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href="mailto:isabelle-users-request@cl.cam.ac.uk">isabelle-users-request@cl.cam.ac.uk</a>.
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<h3>Personal mail</h3>
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<a href="http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/lcp/">Lawrence C Paulson</a><br>
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Computer Laboratory<br>
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University of Cambridge<br>
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Pembroke Street<br>
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Cambridge CB2 3QG<br>
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England<br>
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<br>
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E-mail: <A HREF="mailto:lcp@cl.cam.ac.uk">lcp@cl.cam.ac.uk</A><br>
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Phone: +44-223-334600<br>
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Fax:   +44-223-334748<br>
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<p>
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or
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<a href="http://www.in.tum.de/~nipkow/">Tobias Nipkow</a><br>
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Institut für Informatik<br>
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T. U. München<br>
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D-80290 München<br>
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Germany<br>
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<br>
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E-mail: <A HREF="mailto:nipkow@in.tum.de">nipkow@in.tum.de</A><br>
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Phone: +49-89-289-22690<br>
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Fax:   +49-89-289-28183<br>
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<hr>
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Please report any problems you encounter.  While we shall try to be
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helpful, we can accept no responsibility for the deficiencies of
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Isabelle and their consequences.
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<hr>
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