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[OSR] Caml Community Code
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Date: 2008-02-01 (20:41)
From: Christopher L Conway <cconway@c...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] [OSR] Caml Community Code
On Feb 1, 2008 1:07 PM, Jon Harrop <> wrote:
> On Friday 01 February 2008 13:56:36 Christopher L Conway wrote:
> > Jon,
> >
> > So far as I can tell, there is exactly one person on this mailing list
> > who is interested in forking OCaml.
> We should clarify exactly what we mean by "forking OCaml".
> I get the impression that you are asking if I want to make a replica of
> INRIA's OCaml, diverge its evolution and steal as many existing OCaml users
> as possible.
> > So the relevant questions is: are *you* going to be forking OCaml?
> I want to improve OCaml and I am evaluating how this might be done. Forking is
> one possibility.
> One thing I would like to do is try to reconcile existing "OCaml-derived"
> distributions, taking the best from each of them. I am happy to call
> these "forks" but perhaps that has bad connurtations.

Yes, it does. My interpretation is as you have described above: to
create a separate, backwards- or forwards-incompatible version of the
core compiler without INRIA's cooperation. I think a "fork" under this
interpretation would be a mistake.

> I would like to encourage existing users to go public with their own forks so
> that we can reconcile them in order to build a single, newer, better,
> enhanced OCaml that everyone is free to share.
> Lots of other people are thinking along similar lines but I, for one, am not
> at all clear on who is doing what and, in particular, what exactly their
> goals are.

I agree: it is extremely unclear exactly where this "Community OCaml"
initiative is going to go. It seems probable that it will provide a
channel through which your suggestions for evolving the language can
be considered and potentially accepted into an official or
quasi-official release. Probably the most productive way you could
advance your concerns right now is to advocate for just such a
channel: some JSR-like arrangement that will bring INRIA into the loop
and allow the community to form a consensus around feature requests.

Perhaps no such arrangement will come to pass, or perhaps the
community will reject your proposals after a full and fair hearing. I
suggest that we wait and see before we resort to loose talk of forking
the code.

Best regards,