packages (was Re: [MLton] syntax error for "_address")

Stephen Weeks
Thu, 3 Nov 2005 17:57:30 -0800

> I think that this is a fine philosophy (in fact, it is the one that I
> follow for Moby), but the fact that mlton is a whole program compiler
> means that I have no way to use the underlying system tools to package
> SML libraries. 

I don't understand what the problem is.  There is the (obvious) fact
that MLton needs the whole (SML) program in order to compile, but do
you mean something else?  Why doesn't packaging SML libraries as
source work?

> I think that CABAL is a tool that is supposed to support a common
> package build specification across multiple compiler/OS
> combinations.  What I think is attractive about the Haskell system
> is that they recognize that it is not good enough to just think
> about libraries composed of Haskell code.  Instead, they are
> tackling the important situation of libraries comprised of both
> Haskell and C code.

Yes this is important, but I think it is a bad idea for Haskell or ML
people to provide a new solution to the problem.  The point being that
people in the C world and other worlds much larger than ours already
have the problem of dealing with code from multiple languages,
multiple compilers, multiple OS'es, etc.  They already have solutions.
We're just one special case.  We need to provide enough features to
fit within their solutions, but trying to get them to replace their
solution with ours won't work.