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[OSR] Ports-like package management system
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Date: -- (:)
From: Jon Harrop <jon@f...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Re: [OSR] Ports-like package management system
On Wednesday 30 January 2008 09:06:29 Sylvain Le Gall wrote:
> We, in Debian, are using this way. It works pretty well...

Speaking as a Debian user: the Debian model works well for all of my other 
software but not for OCaml.

OCaml has brittle binding problems and, consequently, its Debian packages are 
constantly in a state of flux as all minor minor updates cause avalanches of 
broken dependencies and packages gradually get recompiled and redistributed. 
This is presumably why Ubuntu's snapshots don't work either.

I'm often recompiling from Debian's source packages in a desperate attempt to 
get things to work. I wasted a *lot* of time doing this when OCaml 3.10 was 
first released on Debian because it broke so much code. That release caused a 
lot of problems for me and solved basically nothing. I can sympathize with 
the Debian user who recently said they moved to GODI.

OCaml currently has lots of problems and many are quite severe. INRIA have 
made it clear that they will never fix these (it isn't their job). Lots of 
people want to fix OCaml and are more than capable of doing so. They just 
need an OCaml distribution they can contribute to. The solution seems quite 
obvious to me: fork OCaml, fix it, include a package management system 
specifically for OCaml in its distribution (alleviating distro package 
maintainers) and then users can contribute third party libraries for it 
easily, recompiled from source as required. If anyone does this, I for one 
will gladly migrate.

> and don't let people going into endless discussion about Git being faster
> than Darcs -- but less useful than Hg. 

Debian have also failed to resolve this.

Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd.