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On module distribution
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Date: 2008-01-15 (20:56)
From: Vlad Skvortsov <vss@7...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Re: On module distribution
Bünzli Daniel wrote:
> Le 15 janv. 08 à 14:38, Berke Durak a écrit :
>> I think we should rather add to Ocamlbuild a module for calling 
>> ocamlfind, parsing its output, etc. This way ocamlbuild plugins could 
>> easily call ocamlfind, be it for configuration or compilation.
> My problem with ocamlfind is that it takes too much control over me. 
> Also it doesn't help you with the tedious publishing aspect (which I 
> try to mitigate by using news feeds) and it won't help you with the 
> binary update problem.
> Le 15 janv. 08 à 16:07, Sylvain Le Gall a écrit :
>> Unfortunately, a decentralized system has also several drawbacks:
> [...]
> Yes of course. But the point is that we already have a decentralized 
> system. All these tarballs that are referenced from the hump and not 
> part of godi. My aim is to be able to quickly install or publish such 
> decentralized bits. Currently these two tasks take too much time: 
> using them, because everyone does it its own way, publishing them, 
> because you have to devise your own way (make a readme, think about 
> how to structure the tarball how to manage releases, announce on the 
> mailing list, etc.). The idea is to simplify all this uninteresting 
> business to entice people to share their modules. Lowering the bar may 
> mean a decrease in quality but in the end good modules and reliable 
> publishers will be identified by the community.
> Also note that the proposal in itself doesn't prevent the development 
> of a more authoritative, centralized and stable source of packages.

I've just started with OCaml, and my immediate perception was that 
modules and libraries are quite hard to find. This is due to several 
factors, one being that the web interface for Hump doesn't allow complex 
searches and stuff, doesn't offer RSS to keep track of updates, etc.

Did you guys look at how this problem is solved in Python? There is a 
standard library module which allows one to write a package metadata in 
a "minilanguage". Then once the metadata is there, it's possible to use 
that for packaging (again, through the standard utility) and/or to 
update the centralized package index ( It is as easy as:

# Create metadata, listing files included into the package and some 
mandatory fields like version, homepage, author, keywords, etc.
$ vi

# Create a tarball for source distribution
$ python sdist

# ...or a binary distribution
$ python bdist

# Now tell the world we have a new package here
$ python register

More information here:

My 0.02.

Vlad Skvortsov,,