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Re: [Caml-list] OCaml standard library improvement
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Date: 2003-02-24 (12:56)
From: John Max Skaller <skaller@o...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] OCaml standard library improvement
It's not enough to just start a sourceforge account.
Some strict policy is needed for managing contributions.
The C++ Boost is an example of an informal collaborative effort
and is worth looking at. The Library Working Group of the C and
C++ ISO committees are another, and are also worth considering.

Basically: the last thing a standard library needs is a huge
set of ad hoc functions added with overlapping functionality
and confusing naming schemes, argument passing protocols, etc.

One mechanism to handle this is for each developer to
work on a CVS branch, and conduct a discussion and vote
on including the branch in the mainstream. One or two trusted
people should perform the actual merging when they think
there is consensus the branch is ready and suitable for inclusion.

One of the virtues of the current ocaml library is that it
is relatively small and covers a reasonable amount of territory.

For the record, the C++ LWG had a policy of considering proposals
which had one of two properties:

1) it provided important functionality which was hard
for the client to code up correctly

2) it provided a simple convenience which would be
heavily used

Any proposal degrading performance needed exceptionally
compelling arguments to be accepted.

The process resulted in a couple of bad decisions,
but it also resulted in a reasonably small and consistent

Anyhow, I'd urge people pause before 'contributing code'
because that isn't important. The key thing is to create
a policy document that clearly states the project goals,
and to apply the policy strictly.

John Max Skaller, mailto:skaller@ozemail.com.au
snail:10/1 Toxteth Rd, Glebe, NSW 2037, Australia.

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