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 Isabelle99 development introduces many new concepts, while
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attempting to keep incompatibilities over Isabelle98 at a minimum.
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See the <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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the 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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give a very nice platform for Isabelle.
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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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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 4.x and 3.x on Linux/x86 and Solaris/Sparc.
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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
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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 supports many more platforms.
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The current official release is 110.  Basically, we still support the
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old 0.93 release, but do not recommend to use it under normal
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circumstances.
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<p> MLWorks is a commercial ML programming environment developed by <a
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href="http://www.harlequin.com/">Harlequin</a> and was unfortunately
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withdrawn after that company was taken over.  Isabelle on MLWorks 2.0
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works reasonably well.
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<h2>Installation</h2>
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Binary packages are available for Isabelle/HOL and ZF on the Linux/x86
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platform.  The system may be easily built from scratch as well, taking
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the traditional tar.gz source distribution.  See file <tt>INSTALL</tt>
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as distributed with Isabelle 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://www.proofgeneral.org">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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Proof~General may be used together with the Emacs
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<a href="http://www.fmi.uni-passau.de/~wedler/x-symbol/">
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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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<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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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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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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