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Status of packs and TODO

Status of the package manager

The package manager is highqly experimental. It clearly needs many additions as discussed below in the TODO section. We do assume that the basic structure is sufficiently simple and flexible that this can be maintained.

TODO list of the package manager

Support git packages

Distributing packages via GIT is, at least in theory, a much better alternative than using archive files. Git provides controlled version management, distribution, verification using SHA1 hashes and digital signatures. The current code contains partial support for installing from GIT repositories. What needs to be done is:

  • Sync with central package server when installing or upgrading using git
  • Support to upgrade git packages
  • Verify signatures

Support foreign packages

Currently, packages installation only supports pure Prolog packages. The core system already adds <lib>/<arch> to the foreign search path if this directory appears in the pack. Future versions will allow for building foreign packages. The idea is to support several different build scenarios. The build tools will be called from Prolog, providing information about the current Prolog version as environment variables.

Using plain make
If there is a Makefile, run make on that Makefile. The following targets will be defined:
  • all (default) for building the package
  • check to run the test suite
  • install for installing the library in bin/<arch>
  • clean to clean the build environment
Preparing using configure
If configure is found, run this first.


SWIPLSWI-Prolog executable (absolute path)
SWIHOMESWI-Prolog home directory
SWIVERSIONNumeric SWI-Prolog version (e.g., 060114)
SWILIBSWI-Prolog Library to link to
SWICFLAGSFlags for compiling objects
SWILDFLAGSFlags to for linking a shared object/DLL

Support testing

If a directory test is in the package, load the files in this directory one-by-one. Each file must be named test_*.pl, be a module file and export a predicate with the same (base)name as the file and no arguments. This predicate is called by the test suite.

More advanced version management

  • Deal with conflicts
  • Support version numbers in provides and requires statements
  • Deal with upgrading multiple packages

Code analysis

Perform code analysis to verify packages and package dependencies. Code analysis can also access conflicts, security riscs and conformance to standards. Some of this is already present in the ClioPatria package manager.

Documentation integration

Social tagging

Provide user-rating of packages, allow for comments, etc.