Version française
Home     About     Download     Resources     Contact us    

This site is updated infrequently. For up-to-date information, please visit the new OCaml website at

Browse thread
Re: Consortium Caml
[ Home ] [ Index: by date | by threads ]
[ Search: ]

[ Message by date: previous | next ] [ Message in thread: previous | next ] [ Thread: previous | next ]
Date: -- (:)
From: Michel Mauny <Michel.Mauny@i...>
Subject: Re: Consortium Caml
[ This is a slightly edited version of my reply to David McClain, that
  I forgot to Cc: to the list. ]


David McClain wrote/écrivait (Jan 31 2001, 09:50AM -0700):

> I have read the consortium agreement, and I fail to understand the
> difference between options A and B, aside from expense. You state at several
> places in the agreement that choice of support option does not imply any
> specific rights or advantages. So why would anyone care to follow option B?

I understand your concern, and I have to admit that this isn't simple
to explain. Experience will tell us wether those two options should be
merged into one (saying "at least 2 KEuros") or not.

You are right in saying that there is no formal difference between
options A and B. Actually, what has to be understood is that being a
member of the Caml Consortium has two meanings:

  - being a member of a (identified) users group (with meetings, and
    where members may compare their needs). A kind of "first circle"
    around implementors, providing a minimal financial support to
    INRIA in order to have a sexier web site, to organize meetings, and
    (maybe, depending on the number of members) to have some more
    developments done. This corresponds to option A.

    If there are enough "A members", then that's fine: we should be
    able to have all this done. For instance, if we have 25 or 30
    A-members, we could hire an engineer for doing the extra
    work. (Implementors will continue to implement.)

  - being a real sponsor of Caml (or OCaml), providing a more
    significant amount of money. Those members are typically those
    really having a long-term plan using OCaml (I know of one company
    in this situation). In this case, 5 or 6 such members would be
    enough to hire an engineer.

When I started thinking and doing the paperwork about this Consortium,
I didn't know wether the right idea was to ask for a minimal amount of
money, hoping for many members to join, or alternatively to ask for a
significant amount of money, expecting then only a few "important"
members. Since I didn't want the whole thing to fail because of a poor
analysis of the situation, and thinking that those two kinds of
potential members did exist, I decided to set up those two options in
the Consortium Agreement.

Those two options should therefore be read as "these are the two kinds
of support that we need", and the members should choose one of options
A or B, depending on how much they need OCaml, how much they are ready
to put on the table to support it. Options A and B indicate two
"reasonable" levels of support.

I think that after, say, one year, if the Consortium is successful, we
could decide all together to go back to a simpler solution. At that
time, we (the Consortium) should be able to understand how much we
need each year to have good work to be done.

Options A and B are therefore simple indications: if we are enough
people, A's will be sufficient to start, otherwise, we need a few B's
to start. After some time, we'll decide all together how much we need.


-- Michel