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Road to native windows OCaml...
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Date: 2008-10-13 (23:36)
From: Kuba Ober <kuba@m...>
Subject: Road to native windows OCaml...
I've looked briefly at what it'd take to have OCaml
fully working natively (with mingw/VS), without any Cygwin
needed for compilation.

What I've surmised is this:

1. I need some "hacked up" make implementation, good enough just
   to let it build; this would be a-la web2c in concept. This "make"
   would implement bits and pieces of make, bash and sed -- just
   the bare minimum needed to get it going. The goal is for people to
   have bare mingw or VC and have OCaml build for them.
   The functionality needed is quite minimal, so requiring people to
   actually pull full sed, bash and make would not be necessary.
   I would prototype it in Qt (it's quicker that way),
   and then port it to "bare" C++ as time permits.

2. I need to get OCaml to use nasm instead of masm. I would go as far
   as completely pruning any masm references from OCaml -- there is just
   no need for masm when a good, free alternative exists. nasm is a single
   standalone executable -- you can't get much better than that. Heck, it
   works on unixes too, so it could be used on all platforms. gas is horrible
   too -- it's only raison-d'etre is to process output from gcc.
   Masm exists in "alternate reality" and the legality of its use is dubious.
   So-called masm9/masm10 (non-Microsoft products) have licenses which are a
   slap in the face and don't deserve a second look.

3. I need to look at the bytecode debugger and figure out why doesn't it work
   on non-Cygwin builds.

4. I need to get OCaml to generate C binding code using assembly, without a
   need for C compiler. It's easy enough and removes one big dependency from
   OCaml. I don't know if OCaml side of things is expressive enough (whether
   you can pass parameter/struct descriptions without use of C per se),
   but it should generally work just fine.

Can anyone add to/elaborate on this list?

Cheers, Kuba