OCaml support on Ubuntu & Proposal to improve it

David MENTRE dmentre at linux-france.org
Sat Sep 27 10:26:43 UTC 2008

[ Bcc: to Erik and Stefano for information. ]


== Current situation ==

I am a user of the OCaml programming language and I switched from Debian
to Ubuntu a few years ago.

While I'm very satisfied by Ubuntu for the desktop, the OCaml support on
Ubuntu is quite flaky. The main reason behind that is that OCaml has
*very* stringent dependencies between its various packages (at both the
core compiler level and at the various libraries and programs level)
that needs careful synchronization. If one makes a batch import of
Debian packages into Ubuntu at a random time, it is pretty sure that it
will break.

Hopefully, there is not that much to do on the Ubuntu side. As Debian
developpers are doing a wonderful job for OCaml support on Debian, one
only needs to supervise careful synchronizations from Debian to Ubuntu.

== Proposal ==

I'm volunteering to help improve the OCaml support on Ubuntu.

I do not plan to become an Ubuntu developer (i.e. make packages for
Ubuntu) but I do plan to:

 1. Follow Debian side development and tell the Ubuntu side when to
    synchronize for one or more Debian packages;

 2. Build a kind of status table to have on overview of OCaml packages
    under Ubuntu;

 3. Read and learn all that is needed for me to do that job.

On the Ubuntu side, I've already subscribed to ubuntu-devel-discuss and
ubuntu-devel-announce mailing lists.

On the OCaml side, I'm following caml-list.

On the Debian side, I'm following debian-ocaml-maint (Debian OCaml
Maintainers) list.

== To do list and call for help ==

It is probably too late to do anything for Intrepid Ibex, but my aim is
to improve OCaml support for the next Ubuntu release.

Is somebody willing to mentor me in that process?

What specific documentation should I read? (I already looked at the wiki
but the documentation is *huge*)

Is there any other mailing list I should subscribe to?

Many thanks in advance for any help,
Sincerely yours,
David Mentré
GPG/PGP key: A3AD7A2A David MENTRE <dmentre at linux-france.org>
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