OCaml support on Ubuntu & Proposal to improve it

Stefano Zacchiroli zack at debian.org
Sat Sep 27 11:26:48 UTC 2008

Thanks for the initiative.

On Sat, Sep 27, 2008 at 12:26:43PM +0200, David MENTRE wrote:
> [ Bcc: to Erik and Stefano for information. ]

This is a bad idea, rather I'm copying
debian-ocaml-maint at lists.debian.org, which is _the_ contact place for
OCaml maintenance in Debian. Please keep that Cc. For the sake of
debian-ocaml-maint reader I'm fully quoting David's mail.

In addition to what David said, I want to add that the current Debian
infrastructure for maintaining OCaml-related packages is open to
contributors, of course including Ubuntu people! It would be great to
share our version control system between Debian and Ubuntu. Same goes
for the debian-ocaml-maint mailing list, which we are already
successfully using to coordinate with Fedora people (in the person of
Richard Jones).

Last note, the first needed step IMO is to identify who, Ubuntu side,
has interest in maintaining OCaml-related stuff. Thus far, each time we
received a complaint from Ubuntu users we were unable to reply anything
else than «works in Debian, try using our packages», mainly because we
have no Ubuntu-specifc knowledge and no Ubuntu contact address for
OCaml-related problems.


> Hello,
> == 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>
>  5996 CC46 4612 9CA4 3562  D7AC 6C67 9E96 A3AD 7A2A

Stefano Zacchiroli -*- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
I'm still an SGML person,this newfangled /\ All one has to do is hit the
XML stuff is so ... simplistic  -- Manoj \/ right keys at the right time

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