Re: If i had a hammer...

From: Xavier Leroy (
Date: Mon Feb 01 1999 - 14:49:16 MET

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 14:49:16 +0100
From: Xavier Leroy <>
To: Markus Mottl <>, OCAML <>
Subject: Re: If i had a hammer...
In-Reply-To: <>; from Markus Mottl on Thu, Jan 28, 1999 at 12:02:55PM +0100

I have followed this discussion with interest. Having some sort of
central archive of publically-available Caml tools and libraries
would be an excellent thing, both to connect developers and users,
and to coordinate future developments.

I strongly encourage everyone who has written a piece of Caml code of
general interest to publish it on their web pages and announce it on
this mailing-list.

It would be great to have a set of Web pages listing all such
announcements. We've been willing to do this for a long time, but
didn't quite find the time. We could try harder, of course; but if
there are any volunteers for maintaining such a list (or other
Web material for Caml), we'd be very happy to provide an account on
the server. (Please contact us directly at

> I would really like to see a remote CVS-repository for OCAML somewhere. I
> am sure this would very strongly help people contribute collectively
> to projects written in OCAML. I have already asked at our university,
> but people there are a bit reluctant with software that they don't know
> so well and which allows remote access.
> Is there any machine at INRIA that could be used for CVS? With read-only
> access to the repository for everyone and write permissions for people
> who have already contributed useful code to a project?

We have plenty of old workstations that could be used for this
purpose, and indeed I've been thinking lately about providing
read-only CVS access to the OCaml development sources, as a simple way
to make available patches between releases.

Setting up such a machine raises delicate security issues (our
machines have been attacked twice in the last three years), and even
more so if read-write access is provided for some users. Remote
developers would also need the ability to make .tar.gz distributions
of their sources available on our FTP server. This can also be done,
but raises further security issues.

A more decentralized development model, where developers maintain
their own CVS archives and release on their own Web sites, would
certainly be easier to implement. We would still have a centralized
listing of available software on our Web site, and perhaps automatic
mirroring on our FTP server (and on the INRIA Rocquencourt CD-ROM).

So, before we embark on setting up a public CVS server, I'd like to
know how many developers feel they could use it. (Please respond
privately to

Let's start to fill that Caml's hump!

- Xavier Leroy

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