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[Caml-list] Libraries in the distribution
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Date: 2001-08-23 (18:07)
From: Markus Mottl <markus@m...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Libraries in the distribution
On Thu, 23 Aug 2001, Alain Frisch wrote:
> I think it is best to keep the OCaml distribution as small as possible,
> and to facilitate the installation of other packages.

I fully second this. Though I wouldn't mind PCRE being integrated
into the standard distribution, I'd strongly prefer a convenient and
safe packaging system. This is actually the top entry on my wish list,
because I consider this the feature that would most likely make OCaml
attractive to the mainstream.

Today there are _plenty_ of OCaml-libraries floating around for the most
varied purposes. Still, each of them comes with a non-standard way of
installation (if at all...!). This is a _severe_ obstacle to exploiting
the merits of free software development.

> The current CDK approach seems a bit unrealistic to me: will a few
> people take in charge the integration of all 3rd party packages ?
> Something like CPAN seems more promising.

I agree.

> (I don't see how it could work without the support or at least an
> initial impulsion from the Caml team, but they have probably more
> interesting things to do. Maybe if would be in the interest of the
> Caml Consortium to coordinate 3rd party efforts; is the status of the
> Consortium a public information ?)

Development of "social tools" would certainly be very beneficial for
industrial use: fewer hassles for employed programmers, more available
software, potentially more OCaml-programmers that can be hired, etc.
I don't think it would be terribly expensive to let somebody do it. The
Consortium should be very interested in funding such efforts.

Markus Mottl

Markus Mottl                                   
Austrian Research Institute
for Artificial Intelligence        
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