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Windows port
This directory contains the files required to build this software on the
native Windows platform. This is not a place to look for help if you are
using a POSIX emulator, such as Cygwin. Check the Unix instructions for
1. General
1.1 Building From the Command-Line
1.2 Configuring The Source
1.3 Compiling
1.4 Installing
2. Compiler Specifics
2.1 Microsoft Visual C/C++
2.1 GNU C/C++, Mingw Edition
2.2 Borland C++ Builder
2.2.1 Building with iconv support
2.2.2 Compatibility problems with MSVC (and probably CYGWIN)
2.2.3 Other caveats
1. General
1.1 Building From The Command-Line
This is the easiest, preferred and currently supported method. It can
be that a subdirectory of the directory where this file resides
contains project files for some IDE. If you want to use that, please
refer to the readme file within that subdirectory.
In order to build from the command-line you need to make sure that
your compiler works from the command line. This is not always the
case, often the required environment variables are missing. If you are
not sure, test if this works first. If it doesn't, you will first have
to configure your compiler suite to run from the command-line - please
refer to your compiler's documentation regarding that.
The first thing you want to do is configure the source. You can have
the configuration script do this automatically for you. The
configuration script is written in JScript, a Microsoft's
implementation of the ECMA scripting language. Almost every Windows
machine can execute this through the Windows Scripting Host. If your
system lacks the ability to execute JScript for some reason, you must
perform the configuration manually and you are on your own with that.
The second step is compiling the source and, optionally, installing it
to the location of your choosing.
1.2 Configuring The Source
The configuration script accepts numerous options. Some of these
affect features which will be available in the compiled software,
others affect the way the software is built and installed. To see a
full list of options supported by the configuration script, run
cscript configure.js help
from the win32 subdirectory. The configuration script will present you
the options it accepts and give a biref explanation of these. In every
case you will have two sets of options. The first set is specific to
the software you are building and the second one is specific to the
Windows port.
Once you have decided which options suit you, run the script with that
options. Here is an example:
cscript configure.js compiler=msvc prefix=c:\opt
include=c:\opt\include lib=c:\opt\lib debug=yes
The previous example will configure the process to use the Microsoft's
compiler, install the library in c:\opt, use c:\opt\include and
c:\opt\lib as additional search paths for the compiler and the linker
and build executables with debug symbols.
Note: Please do not use path names which contain spaces. This will
fail. Allowing this would require me to put almost everything in the
Makefile in quotas and that looks quite ugly with my
syntax-highlighting engine. If you absolutely must use spaces in paths
send me an email and tell me why. If there are enough of you out there
who need this, or if a single one has a very good reason, I will
modify the Makefile to allow spaces in paths.
1.3 Compiling
After the configuration stage has been completed, you want to build
the software. You will have to use the make tool which comes with
your compiler. If you, for example, configured the source to build
with Microsoft's MSVC compiler, you would use the NMAKE utility. If
you configured it to build with GNU C compiler, mingw edition, you
would use the GNU make. Assuming you use MSVC, type
nmake /f Makefile.msvc
and if you use MinGW, you would type
make -f Makefile.mingw
and if you use Borland's compiler, you would type
bmake -f Makefile.bcb
in the win32 subdirectory. When the building completes, you will find
the executable files in win32\bin.* directory, where * stands for the
name of the compiler you have used.
1.4 Installing
You can install the software into the directory you specified to the
configure script during the configure stage by typing (with MSVC in
this example)
nmake /f Makefile.msvc install
That would be it, enjoy.
2. Compiler Specifics
2.1 Microsoft Visual C/C++
If you use the compiler which comes with Visual Studio .NET, note that
it will link to its own C-runtime named msvcr70.dll or msvcr71.dll. This
file is not available on any machine which doesn't have Visual Studio
.NET installed.
2.2 GNU C/C++, Mingw edition
When specifying paths to configure.js, please use slashes instead of
backslashes for directory separation. Sometimes Mingw needs this. If
this is the case, and you specify backslashes, then the compiler will
complain about not finding necessary header files.
2.2 Borland C++ Builder
To compile libxml2 with the BCB6 compiler and associated tools, just follow
the basic instructions found in this file file. Be sure to specify
the "compiler=bcb" option when running the configure script. To compile the
library and test programs, just type
make -fMakefile.bcb
That should be all that's required. But there are a few other things to note:
2.2.1 Building with iconv support
If you configure libxml2 to include iconv support, you will obviously need to
obtain the iconv library and include files. To get them, just follow the links
at - there are pre-compiled Win32
versions available, but note that these where built with MSVC. Hence the
supplied import library is in COFF format rather than OMF format. You can
convert this library by using Borland's COFF2OMF utility, or use IMPLIB to
build a new import library from the DLL. Alternatively, it is possible to
obtain the iconv source, and build the DLL using the Borland compiler.
There is a minor problem with the header files for iconv - they expect a
macro named "EILSEQ" in errno.h, but this is not defined in the Borland
headers, and its absence can cause problems. To circumvent this problem, I
define EILSEQ=2 in Makefile.bcb. The value "2" is the value for ENOFILE (file
not found). This should not have any disastrous side effects beyond possibly
displaying a misleading error message in certain situations.
2.2.2 Compatibility problems with MSVC (and probably CYGWIN)
A libxml2 DLL generated by BCB is callable from MSVC programs, but there is a
minor problem with the names of the symbols exported from the library. The
Borland compiler, by default, prepends an underscore character to global
identifiers (functions and global variables) when generating object files.
Hence the function "xmlAddChild" is added to the DLL with the name
"_xmlAddChild". The MSVC compiler does not have this behaviour, and looks for
the unadorned name. I currently circumvent this problem by writing a .def file
which causes BOTH the adorned and unadorned names to be exported from the DLL.
This behaviour may not be supported in the future.
An even worse problem is that of generating an import library for the DLL. The
Borland-generated DLL is in OMF format. MSVC expects libraries in COFF format,
but they don't provide a "OMF2COFF" utility, or even the equivalent of
Borland's IMPLIB utility. But it is possible to create an import lib from the
.def file, using the command:
LIB /DEF:libxml2.def
If you don't have the .def file, it's possible to create one manually. Use
DUMPBIN /EXPORTS /OUT:libxml2.tmp libxml2.dll to get a list of the exported
names, and edit this into .def file format.
A similar problem is likely with Cygwin.
2.2.3 Other caveats
We have tested this only with BCB6, Professional Edition, and BCB 5.5 free
command-line tools.
Authors: Igor Zlatkovic <>
Eric Zurcher <>