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ASDF 3.1 Walkthrough 2014-01-26

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Published on Jan 29, 2014

ASDF is the de facto standard Common Lisp build system.

During this online interaction with a few Common Lisp programmers, I offer an overview of how to read and understand the source code for ASDF: how the source code is organized, what are the principal entry points, what is the object model, and where is the core algorithm, and how things have changed in ASDF 3.1 since the days of ASDF 2.

You may want to view it at speed x1.5, or download it with youtube-dl and view at your own variable speed using vlc.

Note that several cleanups to the source code were committed based on this interaction (i.e. between 3.1.0.55 and 3.1.0.60 included). All tests passed — the test failures observed during the interaction were probably due to modifying the code while it was being tested. Some of the questions to which I had no answer or incomplete answers during the interaction are now answered in comments in the source code.

This interaction only covers the basics of ASDF and its the way it computes its plan. Fewer details were given than hoped for, but it is a good first guide. Topics NOT discussed include: UIOP, finding systems, parsing system definitions, configuration, bundle operations, concatenate-source operations, package-system extension, etc.

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