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[Caml-list] mod_caml Makefile
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Date: 2004-04-16 (20:37)
From: skaller <skaller@u...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Conditional Compilation (was mod_caml Makefile)
On Sat, 2004-04-17 at 04:51, Kenneth Knowles wrote:

>  I suspect camlp4 is what I want.

It handles a wide class of syntactic problems.

> If I really needed a code-generator I'm always free to use my configure script
> to do it, that is just a relatively feature-bare and unsafe approach.

That depends on whether your configure script is bash,
Perl, Python, or perhaps interscript.

one problem with the autoconf approach which most
such systems share is that they have this idea
of a template and filling in the holes with
configuration data.

Interscript *inverts* that idea. It is entirely
different. Generating code isn't a special thing
you do for parts of your program you need to 
depend on the environment -- its universal.
Everything is generated from the original sources.

Instead, there is a default generation function:
the identity 'copy this line of text', and instead
of 'copying a template and filling in the holes'
with an external program .. you put the code generation
codes directly in the input where the holes are.

>From this perspective, generating code is anything
but "feature bare", contrarily it is both
pervasive and universally powerful.

The 'raw text' approach of interscript is definitely
unsafe -- partly because it is universally powerful.

My suggestion is: by using Ocaml as the scripting
language instead of Python, a good deal of safety
can be restored. Static checking your build process
can't be bad .. nor can higher order functions etc ..

BTW: here is another thought: lazy evaluation.
Seems applicable to building things ..

John Skaller,
voice: 061-2-9660-0850, 
snail: PO BOX 401 Glebe NSW 2037 Australia
Checkout the Felix programming language

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