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[Caml-list] Ocaml shared libraries
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Date: 2004-05-17 (06:09)
From: Eric Stokes <eric.stokes@c...>
Subject: [Caml-list] Ocaml shared libraries
Hello All,
	As the director of a shop who is using Ocaml to do real work (yes I 
know, research is more important :P),
I would really like to be able to build a shared library out of code 
that I have written in Ocaml,
and link other Ocaml programs to it. There are practical reasons for 
wanting to do this, I write and maintain
some rather large systems written in Ocaml. Currently, whenever I 
update a library (not changing its interface),
I need to recompile and reinstall the entire system. These problems I 
can live with for now.
	But... I also have "delusions" (or so I'm told). IMHO, Ocaml is fast 
enough, and has enough good libraries
in existence to create a climate where Ocaml software will slowly start 
replacing software written in C.
I've been watching the building blocks go into place for six months 
now, and things look like they
are accelerating. As the number of libraries, and applications using 
them increases, static linking starts
to become a nightmare very quickly. If you were, for example, to build 
a desktop environment in Ocaml,
you'd have to rebuild the entire system every time you changed a core 
library. And, all the little executables
in the desktop would be HUGE. I think that Ocaml is a very good 
language (understatement) for building
large reliable systems, and I would hate to see its growth be hampered 
artificially by its lack of shared

Eric Stokes
Middleware Technical Lead
California State University, Northridge

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