[CentOS-devel] RFC: OCaml SIG

Jon Ludlam jonathan.ludlam at citrix.com
Wed Nov 19 15:57:24 UTC 2014

On 19/11/14 15:06, Johnny Hughes wrote:
> On 11/19/2014 07:20 AM, Jon Ludlam wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I'd like to propose a new SIG for the OCaml language.
>> OCaml is an industrial strength programming language supporting functional, imperative and object-oriented styles. It has in recent years seen a marked increase in development activity, particularly in the compiler itself [1], core libraries [2] and developer tools [3]. Many of these newer libraries and features are already dependencies of a number of large upstream projects [4].
>> The version of OCaml in CentOS 6 is quite old (3.11.2, released in Jan 2010), and even that in CentOS 7 is fairly old (4.00.1, released in October 2012). I see the OCaml SIG providing the current stable compiler (4.02.1 at time of writing), and a selection of useful libraries and developer tools. This could then be used as a basis for other applications or SIGs to build upon - for example, it would make CentOS a good platform for building Unikernels [5] and it would be helpful in getting the Xapi Project suite of daemons [4] into one of the virtualisation/cloud SIGs. We actually already have a number of specs that are built for CentOS 6 which could make a good starting point [6].
>> A number of people have already agreed that they are interested and may be able to help (all CC'd):
>> >From OCaml Labs (http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/projects/ocamllabs/):
>> - Anil Madhavapeddy
>> - Thomas Gazagnaire
>> >From Jane Street (https://www.janestreet.com/):
>> - Yaron Minsky
>> - Dominick LoBraico
>> >From Citrix (https://www.citrix.com/):
>> - Me
>> - Euan Harris
>> >From OCamlPro (http://www.ocamlpro.com/):
>> - Louis Gesbert
>> Comments?
>> Jon
>> [1] GADTs, record disambiguation, PPX extensions, immutable strings, etc.
>> [2] ocaml-ctypes, Jane Street Core, the openmirage.org suite of libraries, etc.
>> [3] opam, merlin, utop, etc.
>> [4] https://github.com/xapi-project and http://ocsigen.org/
>> [5] http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2566628
>> [6] https://github.com/xenserver/buildroot
> We might be able to do this as part of the current Virt SIG if everyone
> there agrees.
> I know that we want to use a newer OCaml for xen on both c6 and c7.
The reason I was thinking of a separate SIG is that a number of the
interested parties I listed don't care as much as I do about
virtualisation, and so a more general SIG seemed appropriate. Even
though here at Citrix our focus is virtualisation, of the ~120 SRPMs we
build for the XenServer buildroot project around 80 are entirely generic
OCaml libraries that may well be of use to other people outside of the
virtualisation area. An OCaml SIG would avoid muddying the waters by
including a large number of seemingly irrelevant RPMs in the Virt SIG.


> Thanks,
> Johnny Hughes

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