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[Caml-list] Libraries in the distribution
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Date: -- (:)
From: Miles Egan <miles@c...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Libraries in the distribution
On Thu, Aug 23, 2001 at 07:37:49PM +0200, Alain Frisch wrote:
> there seems to be a consensus that the Str library should be replaced with
> Pcre in the standard distribution. I guess that nobody is satisfied with
> Str, and that it is kept in the distribution for backward compatibility.

I'd prefer that both str and pcre are included, for backward compatibility.
 
> I don't want to speak for the Caml team, but I'm not sure to see how a 3rd
> party library could be included in the standard distribution. The OCaml
> distribution follows OCaml releases (of course !), and the author of the
> library may want to release more often. Recall that OCaml development does
> not follow the bazar model (?); including 3rd party packages is not the
> best way to keep control of the development of the language.

I agree that third party libraries are problematic, and I think it's wise to
keep their number to a minimum.  In the specific case of pcre, I don't think it
would be too difficult to just include it and update it occasionally as
necessary.  I think Python did this and it didn't cause too much grief.
 
> I think it is best to keep the OCaml distribution as small as possible,
> and to facilitate the installation of other packages.

I agree, but I also think a good regex package is essential and should be
standard.  OCaml seems to be gaining momentum and I think a good, standard regex
package could be a significant boost.  The PLEAC project is a good example of
the importance of such a package.  I'd like to help with the perl -> ocaml
translations, but I think it would be a waste of time to write code using the
str module and I'm also hesitant to use a third party library in "cookbook"
examples.

Speaking just as an OCaml user, I'm much more concerned with the interface of
the package than the implementation.  Perhaps there could be a "re" module, for
example, implemented now with pcre and later in pure OCaml?

-- 
miles

"We in the past evade X, where X is something which we believe to be a
lion, through the act of running." - swiftrain@geocities.com
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