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[OSR] Caml Community Code
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Date: 2008-02-01 (19:00)
From: Jonathan Bryant <watersofmemory@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] [OSR] Caml Community Code
On Fri, Feb 1, 2008 at 1:07 PM, Jon Harrop <> wrote:


For example, perhaps many (most?) of OCaml's issues can be addressed without
> altering the language by retrofitting an enhanced standard library onto
> OCaml.

I'll be honest and say I usually ignore your pontificating, but for once I
agree totally.

> Perhaps this can be done transparently (i.e. without changing compile
> lines or code) in such a way that we can all share it compatibly (i.e.
> without breaking the brittle bindings) and we are all free to contribute
> to
> it. This would be fantastic!

That would be fantastic, but...

> I believe their effort
> will not implement this transparently, i.e. it will be invasive because
> they
> do not wish to supercede the stdlib (either by patching it or by
> automating
> the inclusion of augmentations).

I think this this is more likely the case.

> I would rather have something transparent
> because it would let users solve their problems more easily.

 I think that backwards-incompatibility, despite what INRIA may say, is not
terribly important.  Let us not forget that they set a precedent when they
released a incompatible and scantily documented, yet significantly improved,
CamlP4 unannounced in 3.10.

I think that if the community wrote a new, significantly improved but
incompatible standard library and handed it to INRIA, INRIA would be hard
pressed to find a reason not to release an backwards-incompatible Caml 4.0,
given there was a configure switch when building the compiler to build it
using a frozen 3.x library, which was not possible 3.9 -> 3.10.  After all,
incompatibilities are what major version numbers are for.

>From then on, the OCaml team could ship a language only tarball (plus
compatability library) and concentrate on exactly what they are good at:
writing a great implementation of OCaml, without us bugging them about
improving the library.  All of the package managers being discussed could
pull the language from INRIA and the "new" stdlib from wherever it is housed
and automagically put the two together.




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