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[ANN] OCamlSpotter: OCaml compiler extension for source browsing, version 1.0
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Date: -- (:)
From: Jun Furuse <jun.furuse@g...>
Subject: [ANN] OCamlSpotter: OCaml compiler extension for source browsing, version 1.0
Hi, OCaml programmers,

Here is your free holiday gift, OCamlSpotter version 1.0, a small
patch for OCaml 3.11.0.

OCamlSpotter : OCaml source browsing

  Camel spotter: Oh, it was extremely interesting, very, very -
    quite... it was dull; dull, dull, dull, oh God it was dull.
    Sitting in the Waterloo waiting room. ...

                                     from You're No Fun Anymore,
                                    Monty Python's Flying Circus

OCaml module language is powerful. So extremely powerful that you can
be lost yourself easily inside a huge OCaml project with tons of modules.
Spotting the definition of a variable is sometimes "extremely interesting".
Let's see such an "exciting" example:

  include M
  open N
  open O
  let _ = f 1

Suppose you are not familiar with the function f and want to spot its
definition. Where to find it? Just from the code you are looking at,
it is not sure: if you are enough lucky it may be f in, or Otherwise, it may be O.f in Or probably N.O.f in If you are unlucky and the project is so sophisticated, there could
be complex module operations in (i.e includes, functor applications)
and therefore the definition might be found somewhere completely unexpected.
Module packing, module load paths and library installation without .ml files
complicate the situation even worse.

You first days after joining a large OCaml project should be this kind
of manual value definition spotting with find + grep commands. Yes, actually
it is very educational: you can learn a lot about the project struggling
in the source tree (only if your collegues have organized things very
well :-P), but it is still a dull job...

To say short, OCamlSpotter is a tool which does this dull job automatically
for you and permits your energy for something more "interesting" like Yeti

 - The -annot option of ocamlc and ocamlopt is extended and creates
   <module>.spot files (<module>.spit for .mli), which record the location
   information of the names defined and used in the module.

 - A small application ocamlspot provides automatic where-about spotting
   of the definition of the name you are interested in.

 - ocamlspot.el provides interactive ocaml-spotting of definition
   locations in emacs.

 - Interfaces for other editors such as vi can be built easily, if you want.


Have fun, and have a good new year.