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The OCaml Community (aka back from the Developer Days)
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Date: 2008-01-28 (13:35)
From: Sylvain Le Gall <sylvain@l...>
Subject: Re: The OCaml Community (aka back from the Developer Days)
On 28-01-2008, Oliver Bandel <> wrote:
> Hi!
> 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.

I think we don't have discuss about dropping what is currently in the
standard library. INRIA will keep everything. The only thing, Xavier has
told us is that they don't wish to integrate new things, because they
don't have the manpower to do it. In other words, don't expect to have a
big ocaml distribution with OCaml compiler and a very big standard
library + a lot of tools. INRIA will try to keep ocaml maintainable by
keeping the size of the whole as small as possible.

(well to my mind, we should throw it, but this is not the INRIA point of

> 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.

Gerd Stolpman give us a good talk about GODI. This is a very good start
for solving a lot of problem (including external libs problem).

>> * 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.

Nobody will thrown the standard library.

>> * 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...

Sylvain Le Gall