Getting Started with OpenDylan 2012.1

There are many exciting changes in the 2012.1 release of OpenDylan, but to me, some of the most exciting changes are the ones that make it easier to get a new project going and building. We'll be writing more about that in the future, but for now, let's look at how to get OpenDylan installed in the first place!


Linux and Mac OS X

Installing OpenDylan is pretty easy on Linux and Mac OS X.

  1. First, you'll want to make sure that you have the basic developer tools like gcc installed.

  2. On Gentoo, OpenDylan is available via the package system, so go ahead and install it that way. Packages for other operating systems are coming in the future and help is appreciated.

  3. Otherwise, download and install a build of OpenDylan for your operating system. Put OpenDylan in a directory of its own, like /opt/opendylan-2012.1.

  4. Make sure that the bin directory under the installation path is on your PATH. You can do this by placing a line in your .bashrc in your home directory like this:

    export PATH=/opt/opendylan-2012.1/bin:$PATH

    You can enter that command in your current shell as well.

Now is a good time to read over the documentation for the command line tools.

Go ahead and build a hello-world application as described in the documentation for the command line tools.


While this tutorial is about the command line tools, we'll still at least give you some pointers on getting started on Windows.

On Windows, things are a bit more involved.

  1. First, you'll want to install PellesC. We need this compiler for handling linking executables. The reasons for needing this particular tool are fairly complicated.
  2. Next, you can install OpenDylan and select the PellesC toolchain when prompted (rather than VC6 or other versions of Visual Studio).
  3. When you want to run the OpenDylan IDE or command line tools, you'll need to do so from a PellesC Command Prompt or have added the PellesC environment variables to your system.

For further help getting started on Windows, we suggest reading the Getting Started documentation for the IDE.

Learning More

To learn more about Dylan, watch this blog as we'll be posting further tutorials. Also, check out this great documentation:

  • Introduction to Dylan:

    A tutorial is written primarily for those with solid programming experience in C++ or another object-oriented, static language. It provides a gentler introduction to Dylan than does the Dylan Reference Manual (DRM).

  • Dylan Reference Manual:

    The official definition of the Dylan language and standard library.

  • Dylan Programming Guide:

    A good, book length Dylan tutorial.

  • OpenDylan Documentation:

    All of the OpenDylan documentation.

Talk to Us!

If you run into any problems, feel free to leave a comment here, talk to us on IRC on #dylan on, or get in touch with us on our mailing list.

Good luck!