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It is a common usage to put at the beginning of source code files a
short header giving, for instance, some copyright informations.
headache is a simple and lightweight tool for managing easily these
headers. Among its functionalities, one may mention:
headache is distributed under the terms of the GNU General
Public License. See file
Headers must generally be generated as comments in source
code files. headache deals with different files types and generates
for each of them headers in an appropriate format.
- Headers automatically detects existing headers and removes them.
Thus, you can use it to update headers in a set of files.
LICENSE of the distribution for
2 Compilation and installation
Building headache requires Objective Caml (version 3.06 or up,
available at http://caml.inria.fr/) and GNU Make.
Configure the system. From the source directory, do:
This generates the
Makefile in the source directory. The
software is installed by default in
/usr/local/bin. This path
is customizable thanks to the
- Build the executable. From the source directory, do:
This builds an executable named headache.
- In order to install it in the directory specified during
configuration, as a superuser, do:
Let us illustrate the use of this tool with a small example. Assume
you have a small project mixing C and Caml code consisting in three
bar.mli', and you want to
equip them with some header. First of all, write a header
file, i.e. a plain text file including the information headers
must mention. An example of such a file is given in
figure 1. In the following, we assume this file is
myheader and is in the same directory as source files.
Then, in order to generate headers, just run the command:
header -h myheader foo.c bar.ml bar.mli
Each file is equipped with an header including the text given in the
myheader, surrounded by some extra characters
depending on its format making it a comment (e.g.
.ml files). If you update informations in the
myheader, you simply need to re-run the above
command to update headers in source code files: existing ones are
header -r foo.c bar.ml bar.mli
removes any existing in files
bar.mli. Files which do not have a header are kept unchanged.
Automatic generation of files headers
Vincent Simonet, Projet Cristal, INRIA Rocquencourt
Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique.
All rights reserved. This file is distributed under the terms of
the GNU Library General Public License.
Figure 1: An example of header file
4 Configuration file
File types and format of header may be specified by a
configuration file. By default, the default builtin
configuration file given in figure 2 is used. You
can also use your own configuration file thanks to the
header -c myconfig -h myheader foo.c bar.ml bar.mli
In order to write your own configuration, you can follow the example
given in figure 2. A configuration file consists in
a list of entries separated by the character
of them is made of two parts separated by an
headache currently supports three models:
The first one is a regular expression. (Regular
expression are enclosed within double quotes and have the same
syntax as in Gnu Emacs.) headache determines file types according to
file basenames; thus, each file is dealt with using the first line
its name matches.
- The second one describes the format of headers for files of this
type. It consists of the name of a model (e.g.
frame), possibly followed by a list of arguments. Arguments
open:"(*" means that the value of the argument
It is possible to change the default builtin configuration file at
compile time. For this, just edit the file
frame. With this model, headers are generated in a
frame. This model requires three arguments:
close (the opening and closing sequences for comments) and
line (the character used to make the horizontal lines of the
frame). Two optional arguments may be used
margin (a string
printed between the left and right side of the frame and the border,
by default two spaces) and
width (the width of the inside of
the frame, default is 68).
lines. Headers are typeset between two lines. Three
arguments must be provided:
opening and closing sequences for comments),
character used to make the horizontal lines). Three optional
arguments are allowd:
begin (a string typeset at the
beginning of each line, by default two spaces),
string typeset at the beginning of the last line) and
(the width of the lines, default is 70).
no. This model generates no header and has no argument.
present in the source distribution before building the software.
# Objective Caml source
".*\\.ml[il]?" -> frame open:"(*" line:"*" close:"*)"
| ".*\\.mly" -> frame open:"/*" line:"*" close:"*/"
# C source
| ".*\\.[ch]" -> frame open:"/*" line:"*" close:"*/"
| ".*Makefile.*" -> frame open:"#" line:"#" close:"#"
| ".*README.*" -> frame open:"*" line:"*" close:"*"
| ".*LICENSE.*" -> frame open:"*" line:"*" close:"*"
Figure 2: The default builtin configuration file
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