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Objective Caml is an implementation of the ML language, based on
the Caml Light dialect extended with a complete class-based object system
and a powerful module system in the style of Standard ML.

Objective Caml comprises two compilers. One generates bytecode
which is then interpreted by a C program. This compiler runs quickly,
generates compact code with moderate memory requirements, and is
portable to essentially any 32 or 64 bit Unix platform. Performance of
generated programs is quite good for a bytecoded implementation:
almost twice as fast as Caml Light 0.7. This compiler can be used
either as a standalone, batch-oriented compiler that produces
standalone programs, or as an interactive, toplevel-based system.

The other compiler generates high-performance native code for a number
of processors. Compilation takes longer and generates bigger code, but
the generated programs deliver excellent performance (better than
Standard ML of New Jersey 1.09 on our tests), while retaining the
moderate memory requirements of the bytecode compiler. The native-code
compiler currently runs on the following platforms:

    Alpha processors: all Digital Alpha machines under Digital Unix or Linux
    Sparc processors: Sun Sparc under SunOS 4.1, Solaris 2, NetBSD, Linux
    Intel Pentium processors: PCs under Linux, NextStep, FreeBSD, Solaris 2
    Mips processors: SGI workstations and mainframes under IRIX 6
    HP PA-RISC processors: HP 9000/700 under HPUX 9 and NextStep
    PowerPC processors: IBM RS6000 and PowerPC workstations under AIX 3.2,
                        PowerMacintosh under MkLinux, LinuxPPC, Rhapsody
    Motorola 680x0 processors: Sun 3 under SunOS
    Strong ARM processors: Corel Netwinder under Linux

Other operating systems for the processors above have not been tested,
but the compiler may work under other operating systems with little work.

Before the introduction of objects, Objective Caml was known as Caml
Special Light. Objective Caml is almost upwards compatible with Caml
Special Light, except for a few additional reserved keywords that have
forced some renamings of standard library functions.


  Changes what's new with each release
  INSTALL instructions for installation
  INSTALL.MPW infos on the Macintosh MPW port of Objective Caml
  LICENSE license and copyright notice
  Makefile main Makefile
  README this file
  README.win32 infos on the MS Windows NT/Windows 95 port of O.Caml
  asmcomp/ native-code compiler and linker
  asmrun/ native-code runtime library
  boot/ bootstrap compiler
  bytecomp/ bytecode compiler and linker
  byterun/ bytecode interpreter and runtime system
  config/ autoconfiguration stuff
  debugger/ source-level replay debugger
  driver/ driver code for the compilers
  emacs/ Caml editing mode and debugger interface for GNU Emacs
  lex/ lexer generator
  otherlibs/ several external libraries
  parsing/ syntax analysis
  stdlib/ standard library
  tools/ various utilities
  toplevel/ interactive system
  typing/ typechecking
  utils/ utility libraries
  yacc/ parser generator


All files marked "Copyright INRIA" in this distribution are copyright
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et
en Automatique (INRIA) and distributed under the conditions stated in


See the file INSTALL for installation instructions on Unix machines.
For MS Windows, see README.win32. For the Macintosh, see INSTALL.MPW.


The Objective Caml manual is distributed in HTML, PDF, Postscript, and
DVI. It can be obtained by anonymous FTP from as
described below. It is also available on the World Wide Web, at


The complete Objective Caml distribution resides on,
and can be accessed by anonymous FTP:

        host: (
        directory: lang/caml-light

or through a Web browser at


There exists a mailing list of users of the Caml implementations
developed at INRIA. The purpose of this list is to share
experience, exchange ideas (and even code), and report on applications
of the Caml language. This list is moderated; messages can be
written in English or in French. The list has about 400 subscribers.

Messages to the list should be sent to:


If you wish to subscribe to this list, please send a message
(including your email address) to:


Archives of the list are available on the World Wide Web at URL

The Usenet news groups and comp.lang.functional
also contains discussions about the ML family of programming languages,
including Caml.


Send your bug reports by E-mail to:

To be effective, bug reports should include a complete program
(preferably small) that exhibits the unexpected behavior, and the
configuration you are using (machine type, etc).

The mailing list is forwarded to
a small group of implementors at INRIA. For general questions and
discussions, is better; for bug reports
and very specific technical questions,
is preferred. We often redirect messages from one list to the other,

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