ASDF, short for "another system definition facility" simplifies the management of lisp systems. A system is analogous to a package or module from other programming language, and includes one or more files that are compiled and loaded to provide library objects and functions. Using ASDF, the lisp programmer can:
- compile all files included in a system.
- specify other asdf packages as dependencies.
- load all of the files needed for a system.
ASDF has features in common with Ant for java, distutils for python, and cpan for perl. An additional package ASDF-INSTALL can be used to download and install asdf asdf systems. Many lisp libraries are now distributed as ADSF systems, and ASDF is bundled with Allegro Common Lisp, SBCL, ECL, and OpenMCL.