- Reference manual
- Getting started quickly
- The user's initialisation file
- Initialisation files and goals
- Command line options
- UI Themes
- GNU Emacs Interface
- Online Help
- Command line history
- Reuse of top-level bindings
- Overview of the Debugger
- Environment Control (Prolog flags)
- An overview of hook predicates
- Automatic loading of libraries
- Packs: community add-ons
- The SWI-Prolog syntax
- Rational trees (cyclic terms)
- Just-in-time clause indexing
- Wide character support
- System limits
- SWI-Prolog and 64-bit machines
- Binary compatibility
- Reference manual
By default, SWI-Prolog is installed as‘swipl'. The command line arguments of SWI-Prolog itself and its utility programs are documented using standard Unix man pages. SWI-Prolog is normally operated as an interactive application simply by starting the program:
$ swipl Welcome to SWI-Prolog ... ... 1 ?-
After starting Prolog, one normally loads a program into it using consult/1, which may be abbreviated by putting the name of the program file between square brackets. The following goal loads the file likes.pl containing clauses for the predicates likes/2 :
?- [likes]. true. ?-
Alternatively, the source file may be given as command line arguments:
$ swipl likes.pl Welcome to SWI-Prolog ... ... 1 ?-
Both the above assume
likes.plis in your working directory. If you use the command line version swipl the working directory is the same as the shell from which you started SWI-Prolog. If you started the GUI version (swipl-win) this depends largely on the OS. You can use pwd/0 and cd/0 to find and change the working directory. The utility ls/0 lists the contents of the working directory.?- pwd. % /home/janw/src/swipl-devel/linux/ true. ?- cd('~/tmp'). true. ?- pwd. % /home/janw/tmp/ true.
likes.plis also installed in a subdirectory
demoinsides SWI-Prolog's installation directory and may be loaded regardless of the working directory using the command below. See absolute_file_name/3 and file_search_path/2 for details on how SWI-Prolog specifies file locations.?- [swi(demo/likes)]. true.
After this point, Unix and Windows users unite, so if you are using Unix please continue at section 2.1.2.
After SWI-Prolog has been installed on a Windows system, the following important new things are available to the user:
- A folder (called directory in the remainder of this
swiplcontaining the executables, libraries, etc., of the system. No files are installed outside this directory.
- A program swipl-win.exe, providing a window for interaction with Prolog. The program swipl.exe is a version of SWI-Prolog that runs in a console window.
- The file extension
.plis associated with the program swipl-win.exe. Opening a
.plfile will cause swipl-win.exe to start, change directory to the directory in which the file to open resides, and load this file.
The normal way to start the
likes.pl file mentioned in
section 188.8.131.52 is
by simply double-clicking this file in the Windows explorer.
Although we strongly advice to put your program in a file, optionally
edit it and use make/0
to reload it (see section
2.1.4), it is possible to manage facts and rules from the terminal.
The most convenient way to add a few clauses is by consulting the pseudo
user. The input is ended using the system end-of-file
?- [user]. |: hello :- format('Hello world~n'). |: ^D true. ?- hello. Hello world true.
After loading a program, one can ask Prolog queries about the
program. The query below asks Prolog what food‘sam' likes. The
system responds with
X = <value> if it can
prove the goal for a certain
X. The user can type the semi-colon (;) or spacebar7On
most installations, single-character commands are executed without
waiting for the RETURN key.
if (s)he wants another solution. Use the return
key if you do not want to see more answers. Prolog completes the output
with a full stop (.) if the user uses the return
key or Prolog
knows there are no more answers. If Prolog cannot find (more)
answers, it writes false. Finally, Prolog answers using an error
message to indicate the query or program contains an error.
?- likes(sam, X). X = dahl ; X = tandoori ; ... X = chips. ?-
Note that the answer written by Prolog is a valid Prolog program that, when executed, produces the same set of answers as the original program.8The SWI-Prolog top level differs in several ways from traditional Prolog top level. The current top level was designed in cooperation with Ulrich Neumerkel.
If properly configured, the predicate edit/1 starts the built-in or user configured editor on the argument. The argument can be anything that can be linked to a location: a file name, predicate name, module name, etc. If the argument resolves to only one location the editor is started on this location, otherwise the user is presented a choice.
If a graphical user interface is available, the editor normally creates a new window and the system prompts for the next command. The user may edit the source file, save it and run make/0 to update any modified source file. If the editor cannot be opened in a window, it opens in the same console and leaving the editor runs make/0 to reload any source files that have been modified.
?- edit(likes). true. ?- make. % /home/jan/src/pl-devel/linux/likes compiled 0.00 sec, 0 clauses ?- likes(sam, X). ...
The program can also be decompiled using listing/1
as below. The argument of listing/1
is just a predicate name, a predicate
indicator of the form Name/Arity, e.g.,
or a head, e.g.,
?- listing(likes(sam, _)).,
listing all matching clauses. The predicate listing/0,
i.e., without arguments lists the entire program.9This
lists several hook predicates that are defined by default and
is typically not very informative.
?- listing(mild). mild(dahl). mild(tandoori). mild(kurma). true.
The interactive toplevel can be stopped in two ways: enter the system end-of-file character (typically Control-D) or by executing the halt/0 predicate:
?- halt. $