Scheme Scribe homepage

Manuel Serrano
Inria Sophia Antipolis
2004 route des Lucioles - BP 93
F-06902 Sophia Antipolis, Cedex

Table of contents

Scheme Scribe homepage

  Mailing list


White paper

User manual
Advanced manual
Scribe styles

If you have any comments on this web page or if you have a contribution or an application that you would like pointed to by this web page, please contact the maintainer of the page.

Current version is 1.1a, released Dec 2002


Scheme Scribe (Scribe hereafter) is a text processor. Even if it is a general purpose tool, it best suits the writing of technical documents such as web pages or technical reports, API documentations, etc. At first glance, Scribe looks like a mark-up language la HTML. So, there is no need to be provided with computer programming skills in order to use Scribe.

A second look reveals that Scribe is actually a true programming language, provided with high level features (such as objects, higher order functions, regular and syntactic parsing, etc.). Scribe is based on the Scheme programming language.

From Scribe source files it is possible to produce various targets:

  • HTML pages that can be used to implement a web site.
  • LaTeX files that can be used to produce high quality Postscript or PDF files.
  • Info files that suit the Emacs Info mode.
  • Man pages for Unix documentation.
  • Plain texts.
  • MagicPoint slides.

Several Scribe demonstrations can be found on this web site. First, this HTML page is a Scribe, have a look at the source code here. Second and third, the Scribe user manual and advanced manual are also written in Scribe.

The Scribe distribution also contains a compiler from Texi source files to Scribe source files. An example of such a compilation can be found at This example shows how a Texi source file can be compiled to Scribe and then compiled to HTML.

The regular Scribe compiler can produce Postscript files. Here is an example of such a file: doc/


  • 16 Sep 2002: A CGI scripting library.
  • 29 May 2002: Important enhancements (bug fixes, languages extension). Support for Slides.
  • 6 Feb 2002: Important improvements in the JVM version.
  • 1 Feb 2002: TeX back-end improvements. Scribeinfo improvements.
  • 2 Jan 2002: enumerations require item constructions.
  • 21 Dec 2001: Release 0.6, bibliography redesign.
  • 20 Dec 2001: Release 0.5, JVM support.
  • 19 Dec 2001: Release 0.4
  • 18 Dec 2001: Release 0.3
  • 14 Dec 2001: Release 0.2

Two versions of Scribe exist.

  • A native version: that is a version that compiles to native code for maximum efficiency.
  • A JVM version: that is a version that compiled to Java Virtual Machine for maximum portability.
All versions of the Scribe distribution can be found at:

Download JVM Scribe

This pre-compiled version of Scribe does not require any pre-installation. In particular, there is no need to install the Bigloo compiler in order to use it.

The zip for Java virtual machine is:

This pre-compiled version of Scribe should run everywhere it exists a JDK 1.3 (or higher).

Download native Scribe

In order to install and compile native Scribe, you need to install the Bigloo compiler version 2.5a or higher first. This is required for the source file tarball and the RPM package. In addition, the Bigloo version must support shared libraries. It is impossible to compile and run Scribe on a platform that does not support this feature.

The source file distribution that can be used for Unix systems and Win32/Cygwin is:

Scribe portability matches the Bigloo portability. That is, it is known to compile and run under the following systems:

  • x86-linux (Mandrake 8.0, Sun JDK 1.3)
  • x86-FreeBSD (4.0)
  • x86-win32 (Windows 2000/Cygwin)
  • PowerPC G4 (MacOS X xnu-201.5)
  • SPARC (Solaris 2.6 and 2.8, Sun JDK 1.3, Linux (Debian))
  • Compaq Alpha (Digital Unix 4.0f aka True64, JDK 1.3)
  • Compaq Alpha (Linux 2.2 (Debian))
  • Arm (Linux (Debian))
  • IA64 (Linux (Debian))
  • m68k (Linux (Debian))
  • Mips (Linux (Debian))
  • Mipsel (Linux (Debian))
  • s390 (Linux (Debian))
Even if not tested, it should run correctly on:
  • SGI (IP32)
  • Intel (NeXTStep)
  • IBM RS-6000 (AIX)
  • SGI (IP20 and IP22)
  • MAC PPC (2.2.15pre20)
It is known not to compile on:
  • Sparc (Linux)
  • Mac (MacOS 9)

Mailing list

The Scribe mailing list is now hosted by The new email address is .

Information requests, subcription/unsubscription to the mailing list must be sent to

  • To subscribe to the mailing list, simply send a message with the words subscribe scribe in the Subject: field to the above address. Alternatively you can click the following link: subscribe now
  • To unsubscribe to the mailing list, simply send a message with the word unsubscribe scribe in the Subject: field to Alternatively you can click the following link: unsubscribe now
  • To get some (bold "help") with the mailing list, simply send a message with the word HELP in the Subject: field to Alternatively you can click the following link: help now

Scribe is distributed under the Gnu Public License.

This page has been generated by Scribe.
Last update Wed Dec 18 10:09:15 2002