(Introduced in Objective Caml 3.07)
Recursive module definitions, introduced by the module rec …and … construction, generalize regular module definitions module module-name = module-expr and module specifications module module-name : module-type by allowing the defining module-expr and the module-type to refer recursively to the module identifiers being defined. A typical example of a recursive module definition is:
It can be given the following specification:
This is an experimental extension of OCaml: the class of recursive definitions accepted, as well as its dynamic semantics are not final and subject to change in future releases.
Currently, the compiler requires that all dependency cycles between the recursively-defined module identifiers go through at least one “safe” module. A module is “safe” if all value definitions that it contains have function types typexpr1 -> typexpr2. Evaluation of a recursive module definition proceeds by building initial values for the safe modules involved, binding all (functional) values to fun _ -> raise Undefined_recursive_module. The defining module expressions are then evaluated, and the initial values for the safe modules are replaced by the values thus computed. If a function component of a safe module is applied during this computation (which corresponds to an ill-founded recursive definition), the Undefined_recursive_module exception is raised at runtime:
If there are no safe modules along a dependency cycle, an error is raised
Note that, in the specification case, the module-types must be parenthesized if they use the with mod-constraint construct.