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[ANN] OCaml Batteries Included, alpha 3
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Date: 2009-02-08 (17:22)
From: Richard Jones <rich@a...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] [ANN] OCaml Batteries Included, alpha 3
On Sat, Feb 07, 2009 at 03:21:17PM +0100, Mikkel Fahnøe Jørgensen wrote:
> I think the build system is extremely important, just after library support.
> I believe the success of "scripting" and especially dynamic typing is
> that you can just write some code and run it. Rarely do have to
> consider make files etc. Of course, the problem sometimes just
> multiplies so all end users have to deal with installing the proper
> libraries, but this is partially offset by having good standard
> libraries.

Please don't write yet another build system to fix perceived problems
with current ones.  You'll just end up with N+1 build systems, making
the choice even more confusing than now.  And I guarantee that your
new build system won't work for some combination of {cross-
compilation, Windows, AIX, PowerPC-64} user, which means it'll be
strictly less useful than autotools which has nearly 20 years of
development and experience behind it.

Instead: write better documentation for existing build systems.

For example, everyone loves to hate autoconf (me included), but in
actual fact you only have to write two files containing under 10 lines
of code in each, to make a complete build environment for an OCaml
program under autotools.  This fact probably isn't obvious, because
nowhere is it documented.

So a good task would be to document this[1].

Similarly, plain Makefiles are easy to do, including working
dependencies.  Just needs to be documented.


[1] A good place to start would be

Richard Jones
Red Hat