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[Caml-list] Alternative proposal: COAN
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Date: 2003-02-28 (13:08)
From: Markus Mottl <markus@o...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Alternative proposal: COAN
On Fri, 28 Feb 2003, Jean-Christophe Filliatre wrote:
> As far as I'm concerned, I (try to) carefully package my libraries and
> applications  so that  they  compile with  "./configure  && make"  and
> install  with  "make  install".  (Libraries  are  installed  in  ocaml
> standard  library  place, which  is  determined  automatically by  the
> configure script; presence of a  native code compiler is also detected
> automatically; etc.)

This is definitely a reasonable way to do it: "./configure && make &&
make install" is more or less the standard way of configuring, building
and installing software from source on Unix-systems, even if there are
plenty of developers who don't adhere to this quasi-standard.

> OcamlMakefile or findlib are surely great tools, but I can't see why
> I should use them to contribute to a COAN.

OCamlMakefile was never written with the intention to provide a
standard way of configuring, building and installing software. It
was designed to make things as easy as possible for OCaml-developers
of medium-sized projects and not too difficult for users in case the
developer wanted to ship OCamlMakefile for installation purposes. I'd
also prefer seeing cleaner and more portable solutions to the problem
of packaging OCaml-software.

> I find the concept of a COAN really nice, by the way; I think Jacques'
> idea  of a  central repository  with  meta informations  is the  right
> compromise  between  the  current  situation  (humps)  and  the  heavy
> solution of a centralized sources repository.

Jacques' idea also seems interesting to me. I brought up the topic
of having a standard for packaging OCaml-software in the past,
but unfortunately it obviously never made it on the agenda of the
INRIA-team. With a fast-growing user base, we really very badly need a
standard way of packaging, which should be "blessed" by INRIA. This would
give a tremendous boost to collaborative efforts in the community! But,
sigh, I understand that such a standard, possibly supported by tools,
is not a very sexy research topic...

Markus Mottl

Markus Mottl                                             markus@oefai.at
Austrian Research Institute
for Artificial Intelligence                  http://www.oefai.at/~markus
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