Installing and Using OCamlBrowser
If you installed it with LablTk, nothing to do.
Otherwise, the source is in labltk/browser.
After installing LablTk, simply do "make" and "make install".
The name of the command is `ocamlbrowser'.
OCamlBrowser is composed of three tools, the Viewer, to walk around
compiled modules, the Editor, which allows one to
edit/typecheck/analyse .mli and .ml files, and the Shell, to run an
OCaml subshell. You may only have one instance of Editor and
Viewer, but you may use several subshells.
As with the compiler, you may specify a different path for the
standard library by setting CAMLLIB. You may also extend the
initial load path (only standard library by default) by using the
-I command line option, or set various other options (see -help).
If you prefered the old GUI, it is still available with the option
-oldui, otherwise you get a new Smalltalkish user interface.
File - Open and File - Editor give access to the editor.
File - Shell opens an OCaml shell.
View - Show all defs displays all the interface of the currently
View - Search entry shows/hides the search entry at the top of the
Modules - Path editor changes the load path.
Pressing [Add to path] or Insert key adds selected directories
to the load path.
Pressing [Remove from path] or Delete key removes selected
paths from the load path.
Modules - Reset cache rescans the load path and resets the module
cache. Do it if you recompile some interface, or change the load
path in a conflictual way.
Modules - Search symbol allows to search a symbol either by its
name, like the bottom line of the viewer, or, more
interestingly, by its type. Exact type searches for a type
with exactly the same information as the pattern (variables
match only variables), included type allows to give only
partial information: the actual type may take more arguments
and return more results, and variables in the pattern match
anything. In both cases, argument and tuple order is
irrelevant (*), and unlabeled arguments in the pattern match
(*) To avoid combinatorial explosion of the search space, optional
arguments in the actual type are ignored if (1) there are to many
of them, and (2) they do not appear explicitly in the pattern.
The entry line at the top allows one to search for an identifier
in all modules, either by its name (? and * patterns allowed) or by
its type. When search by type is used, it is done in inclusion mode
(cf. Modules - search symbol)
The Close all button at the bottom is there to dismiss the windows
created by the Detach button. By double-clicking on it you will
quit the browser.
You select a module in the leftmost box by either cliking on it or
pressing return when it is selected. Fast access is available in
all boxes pressing the first few letter of the desired
name. Double-clicking / double-return displays the whole signature
for the module.
Defined identifiers inside the module are displayed in a box to the
right of the previous one. If you click on one, this will either
display its contents in another box (if this is a sub-module) or
display the signature for this identifier below.
Signatures are clickable. Double clicking with the left mouse
button on an identifier in a signature brings you to its signature.
A single click on the right button pops up a menu displaying the
type declaration for the selected identifier. Its title, when
selectable, also brings you to its signature.
At the bottom, a series of buttons, depending on the context.
* Detach copies the currently displayed signature in a new window,
to keep it. You can discard these windows with Close all.
* Impl and Intf bring you to the implementation or interface of
the currently displayed signature, if it is available.
C-s opens a text search dialog for the displayed signature.
You can edit files with it, but there is no auto-save nor undo at
the moment. Otherwise you can use it as a browser, making
The Edit menu contains commands for jump (C-g), search (C-s), and
sending the current selection to a sub-shell (M-x). For this last
option, you may choose the shell via a dialog.
Essential function are in the Compiler menu.
Preferences opens a dialog to set internals of the editor and
Lex (M-l) adds colors according to lexical categories.
Typecheck (M-t) verifies typing, and memorizes it to let one see an
expression's type by double-clicking on it. This is also valid for
interfaces. If an error occurs, the part of the interface preceding
the error is computed.
After typechecking, pressing the right button pops up a menu giving
the type of the pointed expression, and eventually allowing to
follow some links.
Clear errors dismisses type checker error messages and warnings.
Signature shows the signature of the current file.
When you create a shell, a dialog is presented to you, letting you
choose which command you want to run, and the title of the shell
(to choose it in the Editor).
You may change the default command by setting the OLABL environment
The executed subshell is given the current load path.
File: use a source file or load a bytecode file.
You may also import the browser's path into the subprocess.
History: M-p and M-n browse up and down.
Signal: C-c interrupts and you can kill the subprocess.
* This not really a bug, but OCamlBrowser is a huge memory consumer.
Go and buy some.
* When you quit the editor and some file was modified, a dialogue is
displayed asking wether you want to really quit or not. But 1) if
you quit directly from the viewer, there is no dialogue at all, and
2) if you close from the window manager, the dialogue is displayed,
but you cannot cancel the destruction... Beware.
* When you run it through xon, the shell hangs at the first error. But
its ok if you start ocamlbrowser from a remote shell...
* Complete cross-references.
* Power up editor.
* Add support for the debugger.
* Make this a real programming environment, both for beginners an
Bug reports and comments to <firstname.lastname@example.org>