Using the Dylan IDL Compiler


The Open Dylan IDL compiler, Scepter, is available as a standalone executable called console-scepter.exe. The executable is available in the bin subfolder of your top-level Open Dylan installation folder.

The IDL compiler reads an IDL file and generates (up to) three Dylan projects from it. The projects contain stub and skeleton code. Each project defines one of the libraries specified in the An IDL Binding for Dylan.

The project’s name is identical to the name of the library which it defines. By default the projects are placed in subfolders of the current working folder called protocol, stubs, and skeletons.

General usage

The IDL compiler (console-scepter.exe) is invoked from a console prompt. The general form of the command is:

console-scepter [options] <file>

which compiles the IDL file file. Only one filename can be supplied. Options can be prefixed with the character / or -. Options that take a value must be separated from the value by a : character or whitespace.

The following invocation compiles the file bank.idl:

console-scepter bank.idl

Code generation options

/language: name

The /language option is deprecated, but is still supported for backward compatibility. It has been replaced with the /back-end option.

/back-end: name

The /back-end option selects which back-end the compiler should use on the IDL file. Two values are supported:


This is the default value. The Dylan back-end generates Dylan protocol, stubs and skeletons libraries.


This value causes the compiler to load the definitions in the IDL file into an Interface Repository. It will overwrite any definitions in the repository with the same scoped names. The compiler uses a call to the standard CORBA ORB operation ResolveInitialReferences to obtain a reference to the Interface Repository. Note that Open Dylan does not have its own Interface Repository, but you can use one supplied by a third party. You may use the -ORBinterface-repository-file and -ORBinterface-repository options (described in Section 8.3.4, “ORB runtime switches”) to specify an object reference for ResolveInitialReferences to return.

More than one /back-end option may be supplied if you want to load the IDL into an Interface Repository and generate Dylan code.


Parse the IDL file only. This option overrides /back-end.

The following three options only apply to the Dylan back-end.

/directory: dir

By default console-scepter.exe puts the Dylan projects it generates into subfolders in the current working folder. You can force it to put the subfolders in another folder dir by using the /directory option.

/prefix: name

The default names for the subfolders are protocol, stubs, and and skeletons. You may specify a prefix for these names with the /prefix option. This might be useful, for example, where you want to put the project subfolders from more than one IDL file into a common folder.


By default console-scepter.exe generates three libraries for each IDL file: a protocol library, a stubs library, and a skeletons library. However, you may not always want to generate both the stubs and skeletons libraries. For example if you are developing a client application you will only need the stubs library. The /stubs option causes console-scepter.exe to generate only the protocol and stubs libraries.

Preprocessor options


Runs the preprocessor on the IDL file and displays the result on standard output. The preprocessor output is not compiled.

/define: name[= value]

Define the macro name. If the optional value is supplied, the name is defined to have that value.

/undefine: name

Undefine the macro name.

/include: dir

Adds dir to the search path list which the preprocessor uses to find files mentioned in #include directives. More than one /include option may be supplied.

Miscellaneous options


Display the command-line usage message.


Display version information.


Enter a debugger if console-scepter crashes.


By default console-scepter ignores case when recognizing keywords and identifiers, but this option requires the characters in identifiers and keywords to have exactly the same case as the identifier or keyword definition in order to be recognised.


Suppress compilation warning messages.


Trace compilation stages.


The following example would compile the bank demo IDL file. The generated projects are placed in subfolders called bank-protocol, bank-stubs, and bank-skeletons in the current working folder:

console-scepter /prefix:bank bank.idl

The next example would compile the bank demo IDL file and place the generated projects in the folders c:bank-clientprotocol, c:bank-clientstubs and c:bank-clientskeletons:

console-scepter /language dylan /directory c:\bank-client bank.idl

The following example loads the Interface Repository with the definitions in the Bank demo IDL file:

console-scepter /back-end ir bank.idl

You can generate the Dylan projects at the same time using:

console-scepter /back-end:ir /back-end:dylan bank.idl