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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<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.  The current line
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of development introduces many new features, while attempting to keep
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incompatibilities over Isabelle98-X at a minimum.  See the
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<tt>NEWS</tt> file in the distribution for more details.
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<h2>System requirements</h2>
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Isabelle requires a real Unix box with sufficient resources. Fun
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starts at about 32-64 MB of free main memory (somewhat depending on
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your ML system), with several tens of MB disk space and a decent CPU.
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Speaking by today's hardware standards, any moderate Linux box should
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make a nice platform for 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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<ul>
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<li> Poly/ML 3.x on Linux and Suns.
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<li> SML/NJ 110.x on any Unix platform (e.g. Linux, Suns).
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<li> SML/NJ 0.93 on Suns and SGIs. There seem to be several
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problems with Linux and HP-UX, though.
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</ul>
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<p> <A HREF="http://www.polyml.org/">Poly/ML</A>, previously a commercial
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product, is back in the public domain.  It is the best compiler for running
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Isabelle, requiring the least memory and offering the fastest performance.
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<p> <a
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href="http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/what/smlnj/software.html">SML/NJ</a>
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needs lots of store and disk space, but it is free.  The current
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official release is 110 (there is an <a
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href="ftp://ftp.cl.cam.ac.uk/MIRRORED/smlnj/release/110/smlnj-110.0-3.i386.rpm">RPM
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archive</a> available for Linux/x86).  We still support the old 0.93
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release, but do not recommend it.
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<p> MLWorks is a commercial ML programming environment developed by 
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<a href="http://www.harlequin.com/">Harlequin</A> and was
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unfortunately withdrawn after that company was taken over.  Isabelle on
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MLWorks 2.0 works well.  It is about 20% faster than on SML/NJ while using
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slightly less memory and disk space.  A few minor features (e.g. ML top-level
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pretty printing) are not supported, though. 
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<h2>Installation</h2>
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Binary rpm packages are available for Isabelle/HOL and ZF on the
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Linux/x86 platform.  Alternatively, the system may be built from
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scratch as described in file <tt>INSTALL</tt> of the Isabelle sources.
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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 interfaces</h2>
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The distribution includes only a very primitive interface based on
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ordinary terminal sessions. Advanced interfaces are available from 
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other sources:
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<UL>
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<LI>
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<a href="http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/da/Isamode/">Isamode</a> by
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David Aspinall is a more elaborate interface for Isabelle.  It runs
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under recent versions of XEmacs and is useful to both novices and
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experts.
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<LI>
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<a href="http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/proofgen/">Proof General</a> is
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a generic Emacs interface for proof assistants, including Isabelle
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(both for the classic and Isar version).  Proof General is suitable
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for use by pacifists and Emacs militants alike. Its most prominent
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feature is script management, providing a metaphor of <em>live proof
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script editing</em>.
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</UL>
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<h2>Other sources of information</h2>
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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
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<A 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 fuer Informatik<br>
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T. U. Muenchen<br>	
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D-80290 Muenchen<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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<p>
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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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</body>
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