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GNU MDK, the MIX Development Kit

 [Baby GNU]

GNU MDK 1.2.3  
August 16, changes  

Table of Contents

  • What is MIX/MIXAL?
  • What is GNU MDK?
  • Downloading the stable release
  • Hacking the development source tree
  • Exit points

What is MIX/MIXAL?

MIX is Donald Knuth's mythical computer as described in his monumental work The Art Of Computer Programming. As any of its real counterparts, the MIX features registers, memory cells, an overflow toggle, comparison flags, input-output devices, and a set of binary instructions executable by its virtual CPU. You can program the MIX using an assembly language called MIXAL, the MIX Assembly Language.

So, what's the use of learning MIXAL? The MIX computer is a simplified version of real CISC computers, and its assembly language closely resembles real ones. You can learn MIX/MIXAL as an introduction to computer architecture and assembly programming: see the MDK documentation for a tutorial on MIX and MIXAL.

What is GNU MDK?

MDK (MIX Development Kit) offers an emulation of MIX and MIXAL. The current version of MDK includes the following applications:

Using the MDK tools, you'll be able to

In addition, the MIX virtual machine simulators include an embedded Guile interpreter and, therefore, their functionality can be extended using Scheme.

See the GNU MDK user's manual for a complete description of the toolkit. The MDK suite will run on any GNU or FreeBSD box (see suported platforms) and, of course, is free software.

Downloading stable releases

The GNU MDK source tarball can be found at the GNU's FTP site (or any of its mirrors), and at Sourceforge.

MDK is part of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and can be installed using apt-get. FreeBSD and Darwin (see also here) ports are also available.

The user's manual is distributed with the source tarball in texinfo format, which is converted to info files during the installation process. It is also available in a variety of formats in the documentation section.

The development source tree

Since version 1.2, the source tree of MDK is maintained in a GNU Arch archive at Savannah with the following coordinates:

You can get the sources using either tla or baz via

     $ tla register-archive
     $ tla get mdk

There is also a branch, named mdk--rel--1.2, containing 1.2.x releases. You can get the latest relase with

     $ tla get mdk-1.2-latest

For more information on using GNU Arch see its wiki and this Savannah help page.

Further links

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Updated by jao. Last modified: $Date: 2006/08/18 01:44:50 $

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