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Date: 2007-08-04 (19:17)
From: Richard Jones <rich@a...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Sorted list
On Sun, Aug 05, 2007 at 03:54:47AM +1000, skaller wrote:
> On Sat, 2007-08-04 at 17:21 +0100, Richard Jones wrote:
> > > Well, I would like to see a community process for selecting,
> > > implementing, documenting and maintaining a set of good algorithms
> > > which go IN THE STANDARD DISTRIBUTION (under the usual LGPL+X licence,
> > > with a disclaimer the code base isn't maintained by Inria, merely
> > > distributed on behalf of the community).
> > 
> > But what's wrong with extlib?  Now I know it's not the "Standard"
> > distribution, but that's a mere packaging issue.
> A 'mere' packaging issue??? That's the very issue that concerns me.
> I think there are other (technical) problems with extlib too:
> the iterator design is a bit suspicious, and the implementation
> is using Obj.magic without Inria support.

Well you don't need to use those bits.  I use ExtList and ExtString

> However the packaging issue is the primary problem, for this
> and other 3PLs (third party libraries).
> My own package requires standard Python, Ocaml, and C++ distros.
> That's it. That's already bad enough. The only 3PL's allowed
> are provided as source and built by the Felix build system.
> On the Ocaml side this includes Dypgen and OCS Scheme.
> Extlib couldn't be included this way because it is LGPL.
> Felix is FFAU (free for any use modulo propagating copyright
> notices).
> I carefully avoid 3PL's I can't include as source, and as
> many complications -- such as camlp4/5 -- as possible.
> [I wish I could use ulex .. but it uses camlp4/5 extensions]
> Getting Ocaml to work at all on Windows is hard enough
> for clients.

Well, Windows is a world apart.  It has no packaging system to speak
of, no versioning, no centralised repository, no installation policies
of note.  In other words, it's where Linux was circa 1993.

Linux distros on the other hand have all of the above, so it's just a
matter of doing 'apt-get install felix' and in a few months, 'yum
install felix'.  All dependencies on whatever esoteric libraries
required are resolved automatically with no user intervention.  If
that's too hard for users, they can click Applications -> Add/Remove
Software and pick and hunt for the package they require, and the
package + dependencies get installed.


Richard Jones
Red Hat