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[Caml-list] Cross-compiling OCaml
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Date: 2004-09-01 (07:32)
From: james woodyatt <jhw@w...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Cross-compiling OCaml
[this will be my last message on this subject to the caml-list]

On 31 Aug 2004, at 02:05, Brandon J. Van Every wrote:
> james woodyatt wrote:
>> [people like me] 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.

Well, I don't care about Windows and its users.  I don't have to care.  
I have a day job that pays the rent, and neither the Windows platform 
nor its users are a significant part of my personal lifestyle 
management strategy.

And if I were to care about big platforms with lots of users that 
currently don't have Objective Caml support, the biggest ones on the 
list would be Embedded Linux and VxWorks, not Windows.  And that would 
mean— wait for it— cross-compiling Ocaml.  (Why look, that's the 
subject line in this thread!)

> 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.

I think you have your priorities crossed.  Lots of good code migrates 
out of the Unix culture into the Windows development world, but it 
historically *never* happens when Unix-centric people push— only when 
Windows-centric people pull.

Remember the ancient hippie proverb: "Ass, gas or grass; nobody rides 
for free."  If you want to see growth on the Windows platform (or any 
other platform), then you need to start paying for it— either in euros 
or in time spent coding on it.

> 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.

Ah, I see where we have gone awry.  Since I don't have a payroll, I'm 
in no position to recruit.  Since it will be a long time before I have 
anything to sell, I am expending very little effort on marketing.  I do 
not need or want any help developing my library.  I do not need or want 
a Windows port of my library, and if I did, I would code it myself.

I am merely including in my announcements (four of them, so far— five 
counting this one) a note that I don't have support for Windows, and 
that I would need assistance porting it.  If you want a Windows port, 
you will have to make it yourself— but I would be happy to coordinate 
the integration of appropriate patches into future releases.  Waiting 
for me to do it on my own will be a *long* wait.

>> 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.

Arggh.  I'm not blaming "Windows whiners" for the status of *my* 
project.  I'm blaming them for the status of *YOUR* project.

My project is moving along just fine (pretty close to a major release 
of a whole raft of useful new components) on the [very] limited 
publicity and non-existent Windows support it currently enjoys, thank 
you.  Your project appears to be suffering setbacks with every message 
you post to the list.

(Here is the real motivation for me to post this off-topic drivel— I 
think your project may not get the attention it deserves unless you 
adopt a more *productive* strategy.  And besides that, I happen to 
think an OCaml cross-compiler, and/or a cross-compiled bytecode 
interpreter, would be a fantastic contribution to the community.  I 
hope someone picks up that ball and runs with it.)

j h woodyatt <>
markets are only free to the people who own them.
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