Re: ocaml: demand-driven compilation?

From: William Chesters (
Date: Wed Sep 17 1997 - 18:52:59 MET DST

Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 17:52:59 +0100
Message-Id: <11948.199709171652@jupiter>
From: William Chesters <>
Subject: Re: ocaml: demand-driven compilation?
In-Reply-To: <>

Ian T Zimmerman writes:
> Yes, it would definitely be possible to beef up ocamldep. The result
> would be a reimplementation of make in ocaml. Why reinvent the wheel?
> And why do you dislike makefiles anyways? They are the right tool for
> the job.

There are three things to know in building an executable: what modules
are needed; are they up to date; what commands are needed to
compile/link them?

`make' addresses the second (trivial) point and provides a framework
for going *some* way to help with the third. You have to bridge the
remaining gap yourself. In ocaml (as in Java) this means duplicating
information: the compiler has already used your sources to find out
what modules are needed. Furthermore the task of inferring what ocaml
and native libraries were needed for the link is easy for the
compiler, but a bit annoying for me.

That's why I dislike makefiles. make comes in at the wrong level, or
at least, at a level which was only ever right because C had no module
system worth the name.

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