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Date: 2001-02-04 (20:15)
From: Francisco Reyes <fran@r...>
Subject: Re: Consortium Caml
On Thu, 1 Feb 2001 18:44:33 -0500, Michel Mauny wrote:

>Joshua D. Guttman wrote/écrivait (Jan 31 2001, 03:34PM -0500):
>The overall idea is to have a strong group of motivated users, willing
>and working to facilitate the development of applications written in
>Caml, and to extend the Caml user base.

I have been looking at Caml from the sidelines for some time.
In my humble opinion a possible approach may be to use something
like 60% of the funds to the needs of the large contributors and
the rest for documentation and general enhancements.

To me documentation is extremely important. For instance the
easier it is for someone to learn the more people that will be
envolved in things such as programming, more documentation,
etc.. It is a spiral.

>In some time from now, the group of Caml users could be large enough

The more resources placed into growing the user base the faster
many of the other things will be possible. It takes money to
fund development... unless you have enough volunteers, but
"quality" volunteers may be not so easily come-by.

>> I'd also ask whether the cost may be a trap.  Is 2,000 euros per
>> member enough to make a big difference to INRIA?
>The big difference is when we can hire someone (an engineer, not a
>researcher) to do Caml development most of his/her time. 

In addition to membership you should have a way for people
simply to contribute money.
For example if you look at they have a way for
anyone to simply give them some money. Whether it is 10 euros or
a 1000 euros, these are donations which simply are a way for
people to support the project without a direct influence into
what happens.

Another model, which I particularly like, is to have a list of
planned projects. Individuals' funding can help decide the
order. For instance if something is low on the list and someone
gives you 2000 euros to bring that up on the list and nobody
else has given anything even close, then that feature should me
significantly moved up on the list. This in combination with the
funding from the consortium members may be a good way to start
some cash flow.

>Well, we had to choose an amount for the first option, and I don't
>know wether it's easier to have 100 members giving each 500 Euros or
>to have 25 giving each 2 KEuros (or even less giving even more :-).

Two levels of membership is probably best. Those who pay 2
Keuros can come to the bi-yearly meeting and have direct say so.
Those who pay 500 Euros will have access to a
forum/email/newsgroup which is for members only so their voice
has some weight, just that they won't be able to come to the
meetings (unless of course they pay up some more to join the

>I hope my arguments can be convincing. Everyone is welcome to improve
>them in such a way that we can soon have, in this list, a thread
>entitled "convincing management to switch to Ocaml", with positive

I have 2 projects at work on convincing management on using
"alternative" technology (FreeBSD and PostgreSQL). My boss is
extremely flexible, yet he has a series of concerns which need
to be addressed: Who else on the company knows the technology,
how easy would it be to find others who know the technology, how
easy would it be for someont to learn the technology. The same
applies to Caml. I found a good book, but I still find that lots
of more examples are needed. It is very discouraging to
newcomers to have to ask for every single thing on the list.

Moderator of the Corporate BSD list