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Packaging OCaml for Linux
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Date: 2004-10-29 (19:44)
From: Gerd Stolpmann <info@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Packaging OCaml for Linux
On Fre, 2004-10-29 at 02:51, Jacques Garrigue wrote:
> From: Matt Gushee <>
> > I recently decided to try a new Linux distribution--Arch--and
> > quickly became an enthusiastic convert. Now, I've noticed that there is
> > no OCaml package for Arch Linux, and I would like to provide one. I'd
> > like to hear the community's opinion on a couple of questions:
> > 
> > 1) Which OCaml distribution should be the basis for the Linux package:
> >    the basic distribution from INRIA, or GODI? Why do you think so?
> GODI is probably difficult to make into a package: it is a package
> manager itself.

I think this is straight-forward. After all, GODI just installs files,
and the files can be repackaged with the package manager of the Linux

Of course, the user must not call the GODI build system manually after
that (i.e. godi_console must no longer be used). When the Linux package
manager is responsible for managing the packages, it must be avoided
that it interfers with the GODI build system in an uncontrolled way,
because GODI would replace files, and the Linux package manager is not
informed. (And doing so is really hard, I think this is the difficulty
Jacques Garrigue means.) 

But in general, stacking of package managers should work as long as
there is a clear hierarchy, and one manager calls the other as
subordinate tool (and no user takes the freedom to call the subordinate
manager directly, breaking the hierarchy). 

> On the other hand, if you provide GODI, then you don't need to package
> anything else. That's the goal: not having to repackage all ocaml
> libraries for every platform.

This is true from a developer's point of view. But if you wanted to
create applications for end-users it would be really nice if O'Caml is
integrated into the native packaging system of the distribution.

> > 2) What about LablTk? Should it be included, excluded? Should I break it
> >    into a separate package, as is often done with Python/Tkinter? Is
> >    that even possible with OCaml?
> You should be aware that ocamlbrowser (which is included in the
> distribution) depends on LablTk. So if you remove labltk from the
> package, default users will not get it.

On the other hand, there are users who need not ocamlbrowser, because
they install O'Caml only because their favourite application happens to
be written in O'Caml.

Gerd Stolpmann * Viktoriastr. 45 * 64293 Darmstadt * Germany