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[Caml-list] Alternative proposal: COAN
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Date: 2003-02-25 (17:16)
From: Eric C. Cooper <ecc@c...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Alternative proposal: COAN
On Tue, Feb 25, 2003 at 11:54:50AM +0100, wrote:
> I think I cannot avoid to agree with what Brian puts forward: I had
> a similar experience installyng Sympa (a Majordomo replacement
> written in Perl by a French institution, which, by the way, is a
> remarkable piece of software), where I spent a day trying to
> understand why the ludicrous install procedure was throwing on me
> zillions of packages, including a rebuild of Perl 5.8.
> ...
> But, wait, after all, this is pretty similar to what is done by apt
> in the Debian linux distribution! Probably one should have a look at
> apt as a starting point. I would be interested to have the feelings
> of the various people here that do Debian packages on the
> suitability of the apt tools to handle this kind of issues in the
> Ocaml world.

I have gotten into the habit of using apt-get for all the Perl modules
I need to install, rather than going to CPAN.  The Debian maintainers
have done the hard work of specifying the dependencies, install
scripts, etc. so that it's easy to install and uninstall them.  I'm
sure I get only a small subset of CPAN that way, but the quality
control has been worth it, and I haven't needed anything that wasn't
already Debianized.

This is mainly valuable because it is the *same* apt-get tool used for
everything on the system, not a parallel tool just for Perl.  It makes
it easier for Perl applications to be mainstream rather than marginal,
because other packages can easily and robustly specify dependencies on
the Perl apps.

For these reasons, a parallel tool just for OCaml would be less useful than
packaging the relevant libraries as Debian packages (like Sven Luther and
others have done -- thanks!)  But that doesn't help non-Debian OCaml users.

Eric C. Cooper          e c c @ c m u . e d u
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