[opam-devel] ows reports

Roberto Di Cosmo roberto at dicosmo.org
Sat Sep 27 19:14:12 BST 2014

Dear Thomas,
   I have some difficulty in understanding what exactly you do not
understand in the reports present on OWS.

Let me try to provide a few hints; a package is reported as "bad" for a
given version and a given architecture if there is no way to satisfy its

This means that there is no way you can install it using opam, and even if
the "code" shipped with the package may be perfectly fine, the "package"
itself is nevertheless useless.

This is why it is often termed "broken", following a terminology that is
now standard in the world of package based distribution, as it has been in
use for a couple of decades.

Why a package is broken, who is responsible of fixing it, is another story:
it can be the package maintainer that did not update the dependencies, or
the maintainer of a dependency that has wrongly removed it, or the release
manager that has not spotted the problem.

In the framework of the Mancoosi project we have developed a full suite of
tools to help improving the quality of a package based system, and it so
happen that all these tools are even written in OCaml.

I really do suggest that people on this list take the time and read the
short support material that was developed by Zack, Ralf and me for the HATS
summer school, and that is available here:

All the best


2014-09-27 19:43 GMT+02:00 Thomas Gazagnaire <thomas at gazagnaire.org>:

> Hi,
> I had a quick look at "opam weather services" reports and I am a bit
> puzzled at how the statistic are computed. It seems that a package is
> considered as "broken" when one of its dependency cannot be installed. I'm
> not sure it makes sense: in the case the dependency is not available on a
> given platform / compiler version, then all the packages which depend upon
> it are not available as well as "availability" is a transitive relation in
> opam. These packages are not "broken".
> Especially, on that page: http://ows.irill.org/table.html a lot of "bad"
> result are in fact simply a result the package not available for the given
> compiler version.
> I'm sure they are packages which are actually broken (ie. there are no
> version of ocaml where they can be installed) and these should be much more
> useful to high-light in order than someone try to fix the descriptions (for
> instance me, when I am bored and have nothing else to do).
> Best,
> Thomas
> _______________________________________________
> opam-devel mailing list
> opam-devel at lists.ocaml.org
> http://lists.ocaml.org/listinfo/opam-devel

Roberto Di Cosmo

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