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tclyaml_install_guide - TclYAML - The Installer's Guide

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package require Tcl 8.5
package require tclyaml ?0.5?


Welcome to TclYAML, a binding to the C-based libyaml parser library for YAML Ain't Markup Language.

The audience of this document is anyone wishing to build the packages, for either themselves, or others.

For a developer intending to extend or modify the packages we additionally provide

  1. TclYAML - License.

  2. TclYAML - The Developer's Guide.

Please read TclYAML - How To Get The Sources first, if that was not done already. Here we assume that the sources are already available in a directory of your choice.


Before TclYAML can be build and used a number of requisites must be installed. These are:

  1. The scripting language Tcl. For details see Tcl.

  2. The critcl package (C embedding) for Tcl. For details see CriTcl.

  3. The kettle package (build support) for Tcl. For details see Kettle.

This list assumes that the machine where TclYAML is to be installed is essentially clean. Of course, if parts of the dependencies listed below are already installed the associated steps can be skipped. It is still recommended to read their sections though, to validate that the dependencies they talk about are indeed installed.


As we are building a Tcl package that should be pretty much obvious that a working Tcl installation is needed, and I will not belabor the point.

Out of the many use whatever you are comfortable with, as long as it provides Tcl 8.5, or higher.

This may be a Tcl installation provided by your operating system distribution, from a distribution-independent vendor, or built by yurself.

Myself, I used ActiveState's ActiveTcl 8.5 distribution during development of the binding, as I am most familiar with it.

(Disclosure: I, Andreas Kupries, worked for ActiveState until 2015, maintaining ActiveTcl and TclDevKit for them).

This distribution can be found at ActiveTcl. Retrieve the archive of ActiveTcl 8.5 for your platform and install it as directed by ActiveState.

Assuming that ActiveTcl got installed I usually run the command

teacup update

to install all packages ActiveState provides, and the kitchensink, as the distribution itself usually contains only the most important set of packages. This ensures that the dependencies for CriTcl, and TclYAML are all present, and more.

If that is not to your liking you have to read the sections for CriTcl, and TclYAML to determine the exact set of packages required, and install only these using

teacup install $packagename

Both teacup commands above assume that ActiveState's TEApot repository at is in the list of repositories accessible to teacup. This is automatically ensured for the ActiveTcl distribution. Others may have to run

teacup archive add

to make this happen.

For those wishing to build Tcl on their own, its sources can be found at


To build TclYAML the tool critcl is required.

TclYAML's build systems accepts it either as an application found in the PATH, or as a Tcl package available to the tclsh used to run their build & installation processes.

TclYAML must have at least version 3.1 of critcl itself, and at least version 1.0.3 of critcl::class.

The relevant github repository can be found at Critcl.

The relevant repository branch is master.

At the above url is also an explanation on how to build and install CriTcl, including a list of its dependencies.

Its instructions will not be repeated here. If there are problems with their directions please file a bug against the critcl project, and not TclYAML.


To build TclYAML the build support package kettle is required, as is the accompanying application.

This package must be available to the tclsh used to run TclYAML's build & installation process.

The package's fossil repository can be found at Alternate locations are and

The relevant repository branch is trunk.

Kettle has a build and installation guide much like this one for TclYAML, which can be found at the above site and explains how to retrieve its sources and build the package, which dependencies are required, etc. The direct link to this guide is

Its instructions will not be repeated here. If there are problems with their directions please file a bug against the Kettle project, and not TclYAML.

Build & Installation

To install TclYAML simply run

/path/to/tclsh8.5 /path/to/tclyaml/build.tcl install

where "/path/to/tclsh8.5" is the tclsh of your Tcl installation, and "/path/to/tclyaml" the location of the TclYAML sources on your system.

This builds all packages and then places them in a directory where the tclsh8.5 will find them.

On Windows you can invoke the file "build.tcl" with a double-click. This will pop up a small graphical interface for entering the destination and performing the installation. This handling of a double-click is restricted to Windows only however.

On unix the same GUI is acessible by invoking "build.tcl" without any arguments.

To get help about the methods of "build.tcl", and their complete syntax, invoke "build.tcl" with argument help, i.e., like

/path/to/tclsh[vset TCL_version] /path/to/[vset PROJECT_lc]/build.tcl help

Bugs, Ideas, Feedback

This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report such at the TclYAML Tracker. Please also report any ideas for enhancements you may have for either package and/or documentation.


YAML, markup language, serialization


3rd party library binding


Copyright © 2012-2014, 2021 Andreas Kupries
Copyright © 2012-2014, 2021 Documentation, Andreas Kupries