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Date: -- (:)
From: Benjamin Geer <ben@s...>
Subject: Proposal: community standard library project (was: Re: [Caml-list] [ANN] The Missing Library)
Shawn Wagner wrote:
> Even if one or the other was renamed, you still couldn't use them together,
> because they have some modules with the same names. And both have conflicts
> with other libraries you might want to use (Camomile, for example). Insert
> standard whine about needing namespace support.

Here were are with the exactly the sort of problems for which a 
community structure is needed.

I'm envisaging a new 'community standard library' project which would 
supplement (and perhaps partly replace) INRIA's standard library, and in 
which:

   * Libraries would be categorised according to function, e.g.
     data structures, Unicode, I/O, network protocols, etc.

   * No duplicate or incompatible functionality would be allowed
     in each functional area.  People would have to cooperate
     to make their stuff work together.

   * Minimum standards of portability, documentation, etc. would be
     checked.

   * Everything would be released via GODI.

In order to resolve the sorts of technical and social conflicts Shawn 
mentions above, I think this project would need a structure for making 
decisions, perhaps something like the one I proposed:

http://caml.inria.fr/archives/200403/msg00227.html

Whether that particular structure is used or not, I think the main thing 
is that there should be an efficient process for avoiding duplication 
and incompatibility, for maintaining minimum standards, and for 
resolving conflicts.

Many existing Caml libraries could be folded into this new project, 
after some work to make them compatible with each other and to remove 
duplication.

The result would be a consistent and increasingly complete community-run 
'library distribution' without the fragmentation that we are starting to 
see now.

Is there much interest in such a project?  If so, I think the members of 
this list easily have the technical and intellectual resources to set it 
up.  I would be glad to put some work into getting it started.

Ben

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