Release Notes

Version 4.1 released on 26/2/1999

Tkeclipse Development GUI
This release contains the first version of the tkeclipse Development Environment for Unix and Windows. It consists of an interface to the ECLiPSe top-level and a set of GUI-based development tools. These include a program tracer, a term inspector, file and predicate browsers, hypertext help and various other facilities. They have all been developed using the new ECLiPSe/Tcl interface described below. The development tools can be also be used in user applications that make use of this new Tcl interface.
Generic Scripting Language Interface
This release contains two instances of a Generic ECLiPSe Scripting Language Interface, one for Tcl/Tk and one for Visual Basic. They are both based on the same interface design, which allows different host languages to be plugged in with no differences visible on the ECLiPSe side. The main characteristics of these interfaces are bi-directional event-driven communication and the ability to communicate complex data structures through a language-independent data representation. Refer to the Embedding and Interfacing Manual for details. As far as Tcl/Tk is concerned, for typical applications this interface should be simpler to use than the ProTcXl interface and it avoids a number of difficulties that are inherent in the ProTcXl architecture (quoting, event handling).
To support existing applications, the ProTcXl interface is still included in this release and has been upgraded to work with Tcl/Tk 8.0 and on Windows.
New Debugger
The debugger has been completely re-engineered. It is now mostly written in ECLiPSe, with a small C core. It uses less memory and should be more robust. New features include a simple interface to the ECLiPSe kernel that allows for different debugger interfaces to be plugged into the system. Current examples are: the classical command-line debugger, the graphical (Tk based) debugger, and the programmable interface lib(opium_light). Note that some features of the old debugger are no longer supported. The most visible differences for users of the previous versions are that some built-ins (external predicates) are currently not traceable, that no arguments are shown at fail and leave ports, and that there is currently no retry-facility. Refer to the User Manual for a more detailed description.
Opium light
The Opium debugging system has been reintroduced as a prototype lib(opium_light) using the new debugger interface. It provides most of the functionality of the old Opium except that the debugger runs in the same process as ECLiPSe. This library is maintained externally.
The Generalised Propagation library lib(propia) has been revised and is now solver-independent. A new arc-consistency algorithm has been added which propagates more efficiently for predicates defined solely by facts. For more details, see the ECLiPSe Library Manual.
New libraries
A new library that provides some degree of compatibility with ISO Prolog.
Provides compatibility with SICStus' Unix sockets facilities. Can be used independently of the SICStus compatibility library. Note ECLiPSe already provides an alternative interface to the sockets.
New Compiler warnings
The compiler now generates additional warnings about predicates which are declared but not defined (error 76) or used but not declared/defined (error 77). These are usually bugs or bad programming style, however the warnings can be suppressed by setting the event handlers to true/0.
The manuals have been updated to reflect the changes in the new system. The tkeclipse development GUI is not documented in the manual yet, but reasonably extensive help is available on-line with the tools themselves.

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