[ocaml-platform] Is it taking too long for OCaml software to become 4.03-compatible? Would release process changes help?

Yaron Minsky yminsky at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 01:24:13 BST 2016

I do think that PPX rewriters are going to be an ongoing difficulty with
keeping OPAM building with trunk.  That's because changes to OCaml's AST
often break rewriters in a way that isn't always trivial to fix. For 4.03,
there was a fair amount of pain for us in providing versions of the PPX
rewriters that worked for both 4.03 and 4.02.

We've contemplated writing a layer that would allow most PPX rewriters to
be written against a stable API that could work across OCaml versions, but
it's real effort.

4.03 has been a bit of a long haul for us internally too --- we're hoping
to release it finally tomorrow morning! I'm hoping that the new 6-month
release cycle will help make releases smaller, and therefore easier to keep
up with.  Maybe as OCaml's evolution accelerates, we can make the cycle
faster (though it's hard to imagine having releases more than quarterly
makes any sense.)  This would presumably require more and better automation
to really be tenable.


On Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 4:42 PM Daniel Bünzli <daniel.buenzli at erratique.ch>

> Le mercredi, 29 juin 2016 à 21:30, Gabriel Scherer a écrit :
> > If specific software is found to be too fragile/unreliable to resist to
> OCaml version changes (this arguably is the case of Batteries by design as
> its testsuite breaks when the stdlib is extended and Batteries isn't to
> match it up), we can decide to always add pessimistic upper bounds on its
> packaged versions (Batteries, camlp5 do that).
> This should not be done as it makes it needlessly difficult for compiler
> and runtime system developers/researchers to test their experimental
> changes on large real-world subsets of the ocaml repo. (This is also the
> reason why I'm pushing to have actually working byte-code only switches).
> Daniel
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