Getting Started as an MMT API User

This document gets you quickly started with setting up a Scala project using the MMT API as a dependency and presents a simple example showing how to list all theories of an archive.

  • Audience: Users who want to use the MMT API to query or manipulate knowledge, and possibly have a basic understanding of concepts within MMT (documents, theories, declarations); Users who want to build on top of MMT using the MMT API as a dependency.

  • Non-audience: Users who want to do formalization. They will find a fitting getting started guide: here; users who want to get started developing the MMT API itself. These should refer to this page.

Table of Contents:

Note: Some code snippets are presented without necessary error checking, e.g. files are not closed when exceptions appear.

I Installation of Java, Scala and your favorite IDE

MMT is written in Scala, but can in principle be used from any other JVM-based language. In fact, there was a wrapper for Python, which is discontinued, though. For simplicity we will stick to Scala in this tutorial.

  1. Install a JDK (Java Development Kid) if not already done.
    E.g. OpenJDK:

  2. Install a Java IDE, we recommend IntelliJ IDEA as the IDE.
    For formalizing things in MMT there is a plugin for that IDE => recommended

  3. Install the Scala plugin for IntelliJ IDEA.
    Probably you were prompted to do so during the installation in step 2. Otherwise, open IntelliJ IDEA and install the plugin there. It is advisable to choose a Scala version equal or greater to the one MMT is built with, e.g. the latest Scala version available as a plugin. The Scala version used for building and releasing MMT can be found in MMT’s repo in src/built.sbt (search for “scalaVersion”).

II Project Setup

The following steps can be repeated whenever you would like to start a new project making use of the MMT API.

II.1 IntelliJ Project

  1. Open IntelliJ IDEA and create a new “Scala, SBT-based” project. Use Git as a VCS.
  2. When done, open build.sbt from your project folder and include MMT as a dependency (last line):
    name := "code"
    version := "0.1"
    scalaVersion := "2.12.8"
    libraryDependencies += "mmt" % "mmt" % "15.0.0" from ""
    // Not sure if needed if one depends on the MMT JAR, see
    libraryDependencies += "org.scala-lang.modules" %% "scala-parser-combinators" % "1.1.1"

    You should probably leave scalaVersion untouched if you have another one in your file. Also adapt “” and mmt.jar URI to the latest release, see list of all MMT releases.

  3. Confirm syncing the changes back to your project. IntelliJ IDEA will automatically prompt you to do so.

Recommended optional steps:

  1. Download “MMT sources” from the same release as used above to a favorite location of yours, e.g. for the 15th Git release you will find a link “Source code (zip)” there.

  2. In your project above open the project pane on the left and under External Libraries click on sbt: mmt:mmt:15.0.0.jar.
  3. Navigate down all the content of that JAR and choose a file arbitrarily. You will be prompted to add sources.
  4. Confirm and use the path to the downloaded ZIP from second-to-last step.

II.2 Download MMT archive(s)

  1. Create the folder <your-project>/archives/MathHub/MMT
  2. cd archives/MathHub/MMT && git submodule add

Note that most archives on have their build output committed. During the build of an archive, the so-called relational information is created, which is needed for querying all theories, for instance.\

TODO: Add note on how to re-build an archive using the API. It’s possible to do so using the command line of MMT.

II.3 Commit to version control

For example if you use Git:

git add --all && git commit -m "First commit"

Advanced users are potentially interested in using gitignore/JetBrains.gitignore.

III A basic example: listing all theories of an archive

  1. Create a new package under src/main/scala/, e.g. com.example.mmtapi.
  2. Create a new file Test.scala there and copy-paste the following contents to it:
    package com.example.mmtapi
    import info.kwarc.mmt.api.frontend.{ConsoleHandler, Controller}
    import info.kwarc.mmt.api.ontology.IsTheory
    import info.kwarc.mmt.api.utils.FilePath
    object Test {
      def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = {
        val ctrl = new Controller()
        // All logging goes to console
        val mmtArchiveHome = ctrl.getHome / "archives" / "MathHub" / "MMT"
        ctrl.addArchive(mmtArchiveHome / "urtheories")
        // The identifier "MMT/urtheories" is specified in "MMT/urtheories/META-INF/MANIFEST.MF"
        // In general every archive specified its ID there.
        val urtheoriesArchive = ctrl.backend.getArchive("MMT/urtheories").get
        // The next two lines trigger processing of the whole archive and make the data
        // available in ctrl.depstore, the dependency store - among others.
        urtheoriesArchive.readRelational(FilePath("/"), ctrl, "rel")
        // Get and print all individual ("inds") objects which are a theory
        val theories = ctrl.depstore.getInds(IsTheory)
        theories foreach println
  3. Run Test.main by clicking on the green downwards triangle next to the line def main(args.... The expected output is something like
    user: opened archive <your-project>\archives\MathHub\MMT\urtheories
    user: ... with realizations in folder <your-project>\archives\MathHub\MMT\urtheories\bin
    Process finished with exit code 0