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[Caml-list] [ANN] The Missing Library
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Date: 2004-04-23 (21:16)
From: John Goerzen <jgoerzen@c...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] [ANN] The Missing Library
On Fri, Apr 23, 2004 at 04:41:15PM -0400, Eric C. Cooper wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 23, 2004 at 01:51:48PM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
> > [Debian users: I have uploaded it to sid, but will take a few days to
> > appear.]
> I am a bit surprised by this.  What is the process by which OCaml
> packages are added to Debian?  Are there any checks and balances?
> Without in any way passing judgment on your particular effort, it
> seems that a Debian developer with an OCaml agenda might have a
> conflict of interest here, especially considering the scarce resource
> that is the global OCaml module namespace.

There are no more restrictions on OCaml packages in Debian than for any
other language.  The namespace issue is not really unique to OCaml;
pretty much every other language execpt Java[1] would share it, too.
Though the use of findlib packages helps somewhat.  Part of what's good
about Debian is that if a developer finds a package useful and is able
to maintain it up to the standards set by Debian, there's very little
reason to keep it out.  The general process of adding a package to
Debian involves approval by FTP masters, though one cannot expect them
to know the namespace issues of every language.

Having said that, there is an active community of OCaml maintainers in
Debian that would pretty quickly notice any problem, and something going
into sid doesn't automatically mean that it will ever be released.  If
something truly did conflict with another package, it'd likely get a bug
report pretty quick.

This remains a reason that the C Extlib has not been packaged, since it
would conflict with the pure OCaml Extlib.  I even e-mailed the author
of the C package, and he refused to rename it.  I could upload that, and
the FTP masters might possibly even accept it, but it would be
uninstallable on any system that uses the pure OCaml Extlib.  That would
be sure to generate some bug reports that could lead to the removal of
the new package (and would certainly prevent it from being released).

-- John

[1] because everyone has to use

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