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[Caml-list] Dynamically evaluating OCaml code
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Date: 2004-04-13 (14:54)
From: Gerd Stolpmann <info@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Dynamically evaluating OCaml code
Am Die, 2004-04-13 um 16.24 schrieb John Goerzen:
> On Tue, Apr 13, 2004 at 01:17:01PM +0200, Gerd Stolpmann wrote:
> > You should have a look at GODI, http://www.ocaml-programming.de/godi,
> > which is a caml distribution (although not very complete yet). However,
> > GODI does not implement the "one big download" approach, but allows the
> > user to select the packages he wants. The big advantage is that
> > independent updates are possible. There is no disadvantage for the user
> > because there is a nice user interface that hides the complex technical
> > details.
> Hi Gerd,
> I've seen several references here to GODI and I checked it out.  I am
> wearing several "hats" in this discussion; one of them is a developer
> for Debian, and another is a developer, and another still is an end-user
> of OCaml code.
> From the surface (and this is just from reading, not from actually
> installing it), one problem I see with GODI is that it will not
> necessarily play nice with an existing packaging system.  For instance,
> if the user has installed OCaml and some libraries from Debian already,
> but wants to add some others from GODI, it looks problematic.  Perl's
> CPAN addresses this nicely (it will simply download things not already
> present and install them in a separate directory).

Perl is a scripting language, installing something means mostly to copy
the files at the right places. O'Caml sources must be compiled, and once
that has happened, there are strict dependencies on the environment
(e.g. if library X uses library Y the signature of Y must not change any
more). This is one of the key reasons why GODI uses a rather
heavy-weight packaging system, unlike CPAN. Of course, this makes it
more complicated to integrate it into already existing packaging

However, I can imagine we could have "GODI Light" that assumes there is
already a working O'Caml installation, and that only installs the
missing parts. This is not impossible. (Actually, I have a similar idea
on my TODO list, namely to allow the usage of a CVS OCaml version.)

> Also, moving everything into ocamlfind may cause compatibility issues
> for application developers that may be accustomed to not using ocamlfind
> for certain libraries that are not normally distributed using ocamlfind.

The "-I +lib" syntax is supported for libraries that are used to be
installed this way. (This is currently achieved by symlinks. Not really
nice. Better would be a path where lib is searched, but this needs a
change in ocamlc.)

> Having said all that, I think that GODI is an excellent idea and sorely
> needed.  I still maintain that installation of libraries and
> applications in OCaml is way more difficult than it need be.

Gerd Stolpmann * Viktoriastr. 45 * 64293 Darmstadt * Germany 
gerd@gerd-stolpmann.de          http://www.gerd-stolpmann.de

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