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[Caml-list] Cross-compiling OCaml
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Date: 2004-08-31 (08:55)
From: Brandon J. Van Every <vanevery@i...>
Subject: RE: [Caml-list] Cross-compiling OCaml
james woodyatt wrote:
> Brandon J. Van Every wrote:
> > Sven Luther wrote:
> >>
> >> This would indeed be a great great additional functionality.
> >
> > Well, speaking as a Windows-centric guy, I'd rather people just put
> > their time into good Windows support. [...]
> I'd rather that the Windows-centric guys on the list put their time
> into good Windows support for Ocaml,

No problem.  As I said, I realize Linux / mingw guys aren't into this.

I'm just objecting to the statement that Linux cross-compilation support
"would indeed be a great great additional functionality."  As far as
core Windows developers are concerned, and getting OCaml adopted by
them, this is irrelevant.  This is relevant to Linuxers who don't want
to deal with Windows, but nevertheless want a token level of support for
their apps on Windows.

> rather than continually harping at people like me,

I didn't harp at you.  I don't think I even harped at Sven.

> who couldn't give a rat's patootie whether the existing
> level of support for Windows improves any time soon.

I think the reason you should care is because Windows is a big platform
with a lot of users.  If you want to see the use of OCaml grow, so that
there's more OCaml stuff available for all of us, and more paying OCaml
jobs, then growth on the Windows platform is important.

Of course, some people don't have a platform-neutral world view.  Some
people want Windows to die, more than anything else.  My own view is I
just want platforms to be rendered irrelevant.  In the real world that
means various engineering compromises, because platforms aren't the

> I haven't ported my Cf library to Windows because I don't have a
> Windows box and I'm not a Windows developer.  I put forward a
> call for
> Windows-centric guys on this list over a year ago to help me get my
> library ported and compiling under Microsoft Visual-C with
> the straight
> Windows Ocaml port.  I have had not a single ping on the
> subject.

Well, it's only by archive searching that I'm remembering anything about
your library.  I don't remember what it does, and the words "Cf" and
"Pagoda" don't stick in my mind as descriptive terms.  I only remember
someone posting recently about a "Core Foundation" library.  Several
people didn't understand from the announcement text what the library was
supposed to do.  I only remember the announcement because I crossed it
again while Googling about Cf, per this discussion.

Some of the archives I've crossed indicate that Cf may have no users at
all, not just a lack of interest from Windows users.  Have you achieved
a core of Linux users yet?  Nobody's going to bother to port stuff to
Windows when the library hasn't proven its utility.

Also, it helps to have a Sourceforge CVS project or the equivalent.
http://www.wetware.com/jhw/src/ is digging.  You may actually be a very
effective organizer, with wonderful source code.  But it doesn't look
organized, it isn't publically indexed, it isn't publically source
controlled, it isn't accessible in the way Sourceforge projects are.
Also you have no webpage or mailing list for your project.

> It's like they don't even notice,

Should they have?  Have you done some kind of exceptional effort to get
the word out to everybody and anybody?  Marketing is a hard problem.  I
don't know what you've actually done, but asking for volunteers once is
not marketing.

> and frankly— it's not like it really bugs
> me.  It just tells me that Windows-centric guys don't like my code.
> That's fine.  I don't like theirs all that much either.

Your conclusion doesn't fit the available data.  The available data is
your project has hardly gotten off the ground.  You have a recruitment
problem.  You haven't solved it, because you haven't established basic
infrastructure for such recruitment.

> Meanwhile, not a week goes by on this list without some
> Windows-centric
> guy complaining about the vacuum of Windows support for Ocaml.  I'm
> starting to believe the problem is that Windows-centric guys are lazy
> bums who whine too much about what other people choose to do
> with their
> time when they should be spending their own time coding on
> things that are important to them.

Should I fault you for the public administration of your project?  I'll
choose not to, if you choose not to blame 'Windows whiners' for your
project status.

Cheers,                         www.indiegamedesign.com
Brand*n Van Every               S*attle, WA

Praise Be to the caml-list Bayesian filter! It blesseth
my postings, it is evil crap!  evil crap!  Bigarray!
Unboxed overhead group!  Wondering!  chant chant chant...

Is my technical content showing?

// return an array of 100 packed tuples
  int $[tvar0][2*100]; // what the c function needs
  value $[tvar1]; // one int
  value $[tvar2]; // one tuple
  int $[tvar3] // loop control var
  $[lvar0] = alloc(2*100, 0 /*NB: zero-tagged block*/ );
  for(int $[tvar3]=0;$[tvar3]<100;$[tvar3]++) {
    $[tvar2] = alloc_tuple(2);
    $[tvar1] = Val_int($[cvar0][0+2*$[tvar3]]);
    $[tvar1] = Val_int($[cvar0][1]);

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