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Date: -- (:)
From: Oliver Bandel <oliver@f...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] The OCaml Community (aka back from the Developer Days)

Zitat von David Teller <>:

>     Dear list,
>  During yesterday's OCaml Developer Day, a few important points have
> been discussed. First and foremost, due to extremely limited
> manpower,
> Inria does not intend to expand on the current OCaml distribution,
> nor
> even to be in charge of an end-user distribution. Rather, Inria would
> concentrate on the core language, in a distribution possibly smaller
> than the current tarball, while the community should be in charge of
> things such as
> * a standard library distribution (e.g. ExtLib + Camomile + LablGtk
> + ... )

I'm not clear if I understand you correctly.

Would that mean that the standard-libs will be thrown off the
OCaml-distribution, and the bare compiler will be available
from INRIA?
All other things are coming from the "community"?

If so, I would not be happy about it.

I have no problem with the standard-lib as it is now.
Every person who wants to use extlib and such things,
can use it, but nobody must use it.
I prefer the standard distribution.
Possibly, when I decide to use extlib or other things,
I can do, but it's my choice.

If the currently distributed OCaml distribution would
be split into the core compiler and external libs,
then the Core-distribution alone does not help so much.

One plus of OCaml's distribution as it is now, is, that it compiles good
out of the box. One tgz-package and all is well.

when things are split up to many packages, this makes
a lot of trouble in installation - a thing, which I do not like.
I'm a prigrammer, not an administrator, and so I prefer
easy installation.
If I need extras, I CAN use them, but I can stay with the
standard-distribution, and all works well.

What, if different external libs are not fitting together?
This may bring a lot of installation-annoyance.

> * binaries & installers
> * testing
> * code repositories (Ã  la CPAN)

Yes, a CPAN-like thing would be good.

IMHO, when such a CPAN-like thing and installation-tools
are developed and are tested very well, one can decide
to make a decision like throwing out some things....
...if they can be installed easy then in thsi way...
... but even then things might brake.

But without such things like CPAN-like archives,
throwing out the necessary things, is a NONO. IMHO.

So I hope I have understand you not correctly.

> * deciding standard practices (e.g. Unicode)
> * expanding the platform (e.g. development environments, DSLs)
> * maintaining FAQs and tutorials

The reference manual for the OCaml as it is now,
IMHO should be done more verbose and up-to-date.
I think on the OCaml-C-part when writing this sentence...

> * evangelism...

I try to avoid this more and more... I already have convinced some
people, but since a while I started to avoid such evangelism
and better concentrate on my own... so I will use it,
if possible; if others don't want, they can use Java or Perl. ;-)

> How and when all this should happen needs to be discussed. One tool
> for
> these discussions is the current mailing-list. Another tool is the
> Cocan
> Wiki ( ).
>  One important thing: every task needs manpower. So please consider
> volunteering.

I consider it, but I hope that OCaml will stay a powerful
tool that can easily be installed in the future too.
To have a patchwork of core-compiler and many seperated
libraries is not really fine, if it increases the necessary
administration efforts.

Also I think that INRIA is taking care of their code very well;
I have seen a lot of tools and libraries of the community, which
are NOT well developed. In principal I agree on the bazaar-method,
but dogmatic praying for it is nonsense. At certain points,
IMHO it's good to have a cathedral; at least in the case of OCaml
I see that it's not that bad.

So, I hope changes will be done carefully, so that
OCaml will stay safe/secure/reliable and easy to install.