readme.vms   [plain text]

Issues in porting libxml to VMS

Here's a summary of the issues I encountered when building LIBXML under
VMS.  There was some VMS support in the version I got, but it was a little
out of date with the result that some newer files had problems.

I present this list "as is" to hopefully act as a guide to anyone having
problems in the future.

That's it.  Good luck!

John A Fotheringham (
October 2001

Updated October 2002 by Craig A Berry (

Installation kit

- File attributes.  Having downloaded essentially a Unix distribution, some
  of the file attributes weren't correct... especially those in the [.VMS]
  subdirectory.  In EDT you could see line feeds and carriage returns as
  <LF><CR> etc.  To correct this use the command

	$ set file <filespec> /attr=rfm=stm

  This sets the record format to be "stream".  Other variants may be used
  instead depending on how you got the files onto your system.  Files will 
  look okay in an EDT editor once the attributes are set.  Without
  this the command file may not run correctly, since it may be interpreted
  as a single line.

- VMS-specific files are in a [.VMS] directory.  If you've found this file
  then you already know this :-)  This directory contains

      BUILD_LIBXML.COM	- a build command file, which I've radically re-worked
      CONFIG.VMS	- a configuration file to replace config.h

- Don't execute BUILD_LIBXML.COM until you've done all the following

  - read these notes
  - reviewed the configuration section of BUILD_LIBXML.COM, and in particular
    updated the module lists in line with MAKEFILE
  - identified the location of the include files, so that you can manually
    set the LIBXML logical if need be.
  - re-read these notes :-p

  instructions for all these steps are below.

- the file [.vms]config.vms is used in lieu of a Configure-generated config.h.  
  This file contains a number of define statements that identify the software 
  options required under VMS

- The include files are in a [.INCLUDE.LIBXML] subdirectory.  You need
  a logical "libxml" to point to this so that include statements of the

	#include <libxml/parser.h>

  will work correctly.  The source files are mostly two levels above this
  directory, although there are some .h files there as well.

- The command file BUILD_LIBXML.COM will do the following

  - setup some logicals
  - set def to the source directory
  - compile modules and place them into a LIBXML.OLB library
  - compile and link a number of self-test programs
  - compile and link a number of utilities and test programs
  - set def back to the original directory (i.e. if it fails you might not be
    where you started :-)

  before running this command file review the configuration segment at
  the top.  In particular compare the lists of modules with those in the
  most recent version of the Unix MAKEFILE.  Instructions are contained
  in the command file itself.

  The command file will attempt to set two logicals

  - xml_srcdir.  The directory containing the source files
  - libxml.  The include file directory.

  It attempts this by looking for modules globals.c and globals.h in
  nearby directories.  If this logic fails, you'll need to manually define
  these logicals.

The TRIO package
- A sub-package TRIO is used to provide some functions not naturally available
  under VMS.  These include support for infinite and undefined numbers,
  and specialised print functions like "snprintf"

  I had to make several changes to trionan.c in discussion with the author
  (hopefully these are now included in the distro, so I won't list them here)

  To build this software we need to add


  to the compile command for xpath.c and trio.c, and to any main program
  that uses this functionality.  BUILD_LIBXML.COM should do this for you.

- to build in trio support you need the define WITH_TRIO to be set.  This
  is done by default for VMS in xmlversion.h 

Compiler and linker errors
- the DEC C compiler may produce a number of warnings when compiling the
  C code.  These include

    - Implicit function warnings.  These indicate functions whose type is
      not defined in a .h file.  This will probably only happen if your
      configuration is not correct (e.g. for "snprintf" if you haven't
      edited xmlversion.h to set WITH_TRIO

    - uninitialised variables.  Not usually a problem.  You can solve this
      by editing the code to initialise the variables affected

Changes made to the codebase
- I changed all dummy declarations in trio.c to be 

    va_list dummy = NULL;

  to prevent compiler whinge in TRIO.C about uninitialised variables

- I had to add the following to nanoftp.c

    #if defined(VMS) || defined(__VMS)
      #define SOCKLEN_T unsigned int

  This matches similar lines already added to nanohttp.c

- Several variables and function names exceed the 31 character limit 
  of the VMS linker. The solution adopted has been to use the
  /NAMES=SHORTENED compiler option, which requires DEC/Compaq C 5.7
  or later.  For a complete list of the names that needed shortening
  and the short names generated by the compiler, see [.vms]config.vms.