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[Caml-list] Re: How can I lend developers to the Caml team?
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Date: -- (:)
From: George Orwell <nobody@m...>
Subject: [Caml-list] Re: How can I lend developers to the Caml team?


> What if your job is as a motorbike courier?

Easy.  Let the guy with the car do those parts of your route
which are accessible by car.  You handle the intricate parts
on your bike.  Division of labor gets the job done faster.

> More developers may slow 
> down development of the facilities WE want. 

No.  There is plenty in the core that does not involve
fancy-dancy theoretical work.  With others working on the
mundane parts, like bug fixes, Xavier will be able to
focus on his expertise and research interests, which is
probably what he wants anyway.

What slows OCaml down is precisely that it is used
as a research vehicle.  Many languages like that exist.
They often don't make it out of the lab.  OCaml is in
a kind of purgatory right now.

> > > In fact it's very surprising that no third-party core
> > > developers have joined to date, after all these years.
> > > It's about time.  Look at how many folks work on Python
> > > core for example. 
> 
> Python core design is largely stable. When it came
> to upgrading it to Stackless Python the process fell
> through. They got generators and a GC instead.

Maybe the Python core is stable because of the number
of people working on it?  Ditto the Linux kernel?

My point was that Xavier should not fear he will
lose control by bringing people in.  As a top-notch
theorist he can make better design decisions than
Guido or Bjarne.  He can decide what parts of the
core others are competent to handle.  He can task
them as he sees fit.  If they want to do something
novel, he can screen it.

Targetting OCaml to Giotto/Ptolemy is an example
of the possibilities.  That is a purely back-end
change, not a language change, but it requires
core privileges.

> It's kind of nice to have lead developers who are both
> top class theoreticians and expert technologists as well.
> So in my opinion when Xavier says there are enough people
> working on the Ocaml core, we should probably take that
> at face value: we're all here because we *share* the 
> INRIA teams basic goals.

I base my opinion not on Xavier's capabilities but
on manpower.  The best man on the planet has limited
time and energy.  Giving lower-tier core tasks to
others enables us to get more out of Xavier, if you
like.

Hey look, I think OCaml deserves a lot more prestige
and usage than it has.  These are just my own honest
opinions.  I am not trying to put people down.  It's
my sincere belief that more developers would help.
It might be worth adding that those close to a project
are often the ones who most lack objectivity about it.
There is a sense of "my baby" involved.  Well, even
Mom eventually sends baby off to school for others
to help with the growth process.

Thank you-

Jim

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