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[Caml-list] CTAN/CPAN for Caml (COCAN ...?)
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Date: 2003-07-16 (09:23)
From: Richard Jones <rich@a...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] CTAN/CPAN for Caml (COCAN ...?)
On Wed, Jul 16, 2003 at 08:43:20AM +0200, BdB wrote:
> ?.02 here: there's a couple of stuff that a CPAN-like website could do
>   1) hosting libs
>   2) cross-referencing & automatic dependency generation
>   3) registry (the business of ensuring non-collision)

Another important point would be:

4) A standard packaging and build process.

For example, you can download any Perl package and type:

	perl Makefile.PL && make && sudo make install

You can use Perl's CPAN module to download, compile and install the
dependent packages with one command. It all works automatically
because all Perl packages follow a few fairly simple rules.

> As for the last point... well, one possible drawback of current O'CaML is
> its module namespace. My fear is that module names are soon enough going to
> look like JoesXMLParser to distinguish it from MikesXMLParser (betting on
> the success of the initiative here). Well, actually there can be modules
> within modules, so that's not exactly a flat module namespace. But if
> someone makes a module called Joe.XMLParser, it has got to be defined in
> joe.ml[i], which is in my opinion a pretty bad name to give to a file
> containing an XML parser. Maybe java-like module namespace partition is
> something worth considering for efficient community management?

I agree this is a problem, but a Java-like module namespace is about
the worst possible solution. Perl has many thousands of packages but
does not require it. Mostly this is because of an informal honour
system: no one names their package "CGI" unless it is absolutely the
best system for writing CGI scripts. Little-used or still-born
packages can also be kicked out of the archive.


Richard Jones. http://www.annexia.org/ http://freshmeat.net/users/rwmj
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