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[Caml-list] Completeness of "Unix" run-time library
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Date: 2004-03-19 (08:48)
From: Sven Luther <sven.luther@w...>
Subject: Re: OCaml's Cathedral & Bazaar (was Re: [Caml-list] Completeness of "Unix" run-time library)
On Thu, Mar 18, 2004 at 07:41:18PM +0100, Oliver Bandel wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 18, 2004 at 01:56:50PM +0000, Richard Jones wrote:
> > On Thu, Mar 18, 2004 at 08:12:36AM -0500, John Carr wrote:
> > > 1. Nobody else knows the language.
> > > 2. It doesn't run on our platform.
> > > 3. It will break and we can't get support.
> > 
> > These things will always be a problem until OCaml becomes (to use a
> > marketing term) a "whole product".  This means that it has a full
> > suite of supporting skills and documentation.  There are currently two
> > books, and a few web tutorials.  For OCaml to become a whole product
> > we'd need to see a few shelves full of books at the local bookstore,
> > and specialists in each city offering support, and major external
> > companies signing on.
> Point 1 => same problem as with Linux about ten years ago
> Point 2 => really not running on that platform?
> Point 3 => The INRIA-cathedral will help to prevent this problem
>            in the sense of "we do not allow any hacker to make
>            changes in the core language"

Again, as the debian maintainer of the ocaml package, i have to agree
here. I package mostly the pure ocaml distribution, with a serie of
patches, applied as needed, but always either picked up from CVS or
discussed with upstream.

The time i choose to apply a random patch, like the early ocaml -i
support one, i had the bad surprise of breaking .cmi generation
compatibiliy between the native and byte code compilers, which was a
cold water shower for me (err, bad french translation, i suppose you
don't say that in english). Anyway, since then i refrained from applying
random external patches.

Now, what would really make my day would be for the ocaml team to decide
to go the professional way, and to maintain both a development CVS
branch, and a stable bugfix CVS branch, which would avoid having to get
some random brokeness when one want to get serious bug fixes. Sorry
Xavier, i know i told you that many times already, and you told me that
your devel model was yours to choose, but i couldn't resist a gentle
proding :). I also don't believe this will be so much of a cost over the
current model, and maybe even be less expensive in the long run.


Sven Luther

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