Admin/PLATFORMS
author wenzelm
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:58:17 +0100
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Multi-platform support of Isabelle
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==================================
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Preamble
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--------
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The general programming model is that of a stylized ML + Scala + POSIX
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environment, with as little system-specific code in user-space tools
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as possible.
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The Isabelle system infrastructure provides some facilities to make
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this work, e.g. see the ML and Scala modules File and Path, or
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functions like Isabelle_System.bash.  The settings environment also
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provides some means for portability, e.g. the bash function
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"platform_path" to keep the impression that Windows/Cygwin adheres to
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Isabelle/POSIX standards, although Poly/ML and the JVM are native on
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Windows.
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When producing add-on tools, it is important to stay within this clean
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room of Isabelle, and refrain from non-portable access to operating
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system functions. The Isabelle environment uses peculiar scripts for
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GNU bash and perl to get the plumbing right. This style should be
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imitated as far as possible.
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Supported platforms
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-------------------
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The following hardware and operating system platforms are officially
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supported by the Isabelle distribution (and bundled tools), with the
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following base-line versions (which have been selected to be neither
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too old nor too new):
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  x86_64-linux      Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
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  x86_64-darwin     Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite (macbroy31 MacBookPro6,2)
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                    Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan (macbroy2 MacPro4,1)
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                    macOS 10.12 Sierra (macbroy30 MacBookPro6,2)
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  x86_64-windows    Windows 7
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  x86_64-cygwin     Cygwin 2.8 http://isabelle.in.tum.de/cygwin_2017 (x86_64/release)
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All of the above platforms are 100% supported by Isabelle -- end-users
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should not have to care about the differences (at least in theory).
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Fringe platforms like BSD or Solaris are not supported.
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64 bit vs. 32 bit platform personality
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--------------------------------------
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Isabelle requires 64 bit hardware running a 64 bit operating
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system. Windows and Mac OS X allow x86 executables as well, but for
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Linux this requires separate installation of 32 bit shared
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libraries. The POSIX emulation on Windows via Cygwin64 is exclusively
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for x86_64.
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ML works both for x86_64 and x86, and the latter is preferred for space
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and performance reasons. Java is always for x86_64 on all platforms.
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Add-on executables are expected to work without manual user
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configuration. Each component settings script needs to determine the
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platform details appropriately.
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The Isabelle settings environment provides the following variables to
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help configuring platform-dependent tools:
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  ISABELLE_PLATFORM64  (potentially empty)
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  ISABELLE_PLATFORM32  (potentially empty)
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  ISABELLE_PLATFORM
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The ISABELLE_PLATFORM setting variable prefers the 32 bit personality of
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the platform, if possible. Using regular bash notation, tools may
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express their preference for 64 bit with a fall-back for 32 bit as
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follows:
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  "${ISABELLE_PLATFORM64:-$ISABELLE_PLATFORM32}"
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There is a second set of settings for native Windows (instead of the
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POSIX emulation of Cygwin used before):
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  ISABELLE_WINDOWS_PLATFORM64
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  ISABELLE_WINDOWS_PLATFORM32
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  ISABELLE_WINDOWS_PLATFORM
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It can be used like this:
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  "${ISABELLE_WINDOWS_PLATFORM:-$ISABELLE_PLATFORM}"
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  "${ISABELLE_WINDOWS_PLATFORM64:-${ISABELLE_WINDOWS_PLATFORM32:-${ISABELLE_PLATFORM64:-$ISABELLE_PLATFORM32}}}"
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Dependable system tools
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-----------------------
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The following portable system tools can be taken for granted:
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* Scala on top of Java 8.  Isabelle/Scala irons out many oddities and
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  portability issues of the Java platform.
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* GNU bash as uniform shell on all platforms. The POSIX "standard" shell
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  /bin/sh does *not* work -- there are too many non-standard
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  implementations of it. On Debian and Ubuntu /bin/sh is actually
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  /bin/dash and thus introduces many oddities.
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* Perl as largely portable system programming language, with its
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  fairly robust support for processes, signals, sockets etc.
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Known problems
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* Mac OS X: If MacPorts is installed there is some danger that
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  accidental references to its shared libraries are created
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  (e.g. libgmp).  Use otool -L to check if compiled binaries also work
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  without MacPorts.
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* Mac OS X: If MacPorts is installed and its version of Perl takes
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  precedence over /usr/bin/perl in the PATH, then the end-user needs
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  to take care of installing extra modules, e.g. for HTTP support.
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  Such add-ons are usually included in Apple's /usr/bin/perl by
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  default.
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* The Java runtime has its own idea about the underlying platform, which
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  affects Java native libraries in particular. In Isabelle/Scala the
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  function isabelle.Platform.jvm_platform identifies the JVM platform.
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  In the settings environment, ISABELLE_JAVA_PLATFORM provides the same
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  information without running the JVM.
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* Common Unix tools like /bin/sh, /bin/kill, sed, ulimit are
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  notoriously non-portable an should be avoided.
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* The traditional "uname" Unix tool only tells about its own executable
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  format, not the underlying platform!