ocaml_skeleton is a scaffolding framework to get up and running build OCaml
applications quickly. It provides a filesystem structure, Makefile, and example
OCaml is relatively difficult to navigate as a new user. While the language has ample online documentation, the development environment itself can be remarkably opaque. The problem is compounded by numerous sites providing half-working snippets of code that range from fresh to very, very old. The only way to discover 'the modern way of doing things' is through mailing lists or IRC. Since I hate interacting with humans and know others do as well, I thought it would be nice to provide a jumpstart environment for someone to get code up-and-running. An example application with unit tests seems to be a nice sandbox for language discovery.
Caveat Emptor: The system I've provided here works for me but I am still inexperienced with the language -- especially with respect to the module system and how ocamlbuild discovers dependencies. If you are more familiar with OCaml and have input on how larger, more established build systems operate than I would be grateful for any feedback.
For debian/ubuntu, running the following should work:
> sudo apt-get install aptitude` # if you don't have it already > sudo aptitude install ocaml-base-nox ocaml-nox ocaml-batteries-included ocaml-findlib ocaml-interp libounit-ocaml-dev
If you manage to get set up on other OSes (other Linuxen, OSX, BSD) please send me your strings!
Makefile contains 5 targets:
-native are natively compiled (but not necessarily optimized)
versions of the binaries while the others are byte-code versions. Binaries are
copied into bin/ after being built with
> make > bin/main.native > make tests
The source for the application is in
src/main.ml and any subdirectories. If you
add subdirectories, make sure you add an 'include' tag in the
_tags file in
the top directory (see the tag for
src/calc). Tags are one per line and
multiple lines are allowed for a target. More documentation on
_tags can be
found at the ocamlbuild user
myocamlbuild.ml plugin contains code to look up and link OCaml packages
ocamlfind. Let's say you want to use the
PCRE package installed with
sudo aptitude install
libpcre-ocaml-dev. You add
open Pcre;; in
src/calc/calc.ml, then add the
following line to
To find what you need to put after
ocamlfind list, i.e.
Note: there is a bug related to this, look in the bugs section if you want to
add a package to
Tests are written in
tests/tests.ml. Make sure the
OUnit package is opened,
open up your module, and write some tests using the
OUnit framework. For a reference, here
is a list of available testing
methods. Note that you must
add your tests to the
suite for them to run. I tried adding in the code found
but I couldn't make it work nicely with separate testing modules. However,
having the tests hand-added gives you the full flexibility of OUnit.
see the GitHub issues page, but:
- instructions for OSX/BSD/other distros
- make tests nicer (separate test files?)
- add optimized builds
- make ocamlbuild integration less hacky
- automatically make a library
see the GitHub issues page, but:
- tags file, specifically the `pkg
integration, doesn't apply to 'top level targets,' these beingmain.ml
. If you want to add packages to these, you can currently give them toocamlbuild
directly on the commandline via-tag
, see theMakefile
is passes totests.byte`.
- OCaml style guide: http://www.cs.caltech.edu/~cs20/a/style.html
- Sample OCaml code (cross-referenced with other languages): http://pleac.sourceforge.net/pleac_ocaml/
- The default vim plugin for .ml files has an annoying textwidth setting. Try
this to turn that off:
echo "set tw=0" >> ~/.vim/after/indent/ocaml.vim
The OCaml community has a lot of high quality software written by high quality people. It's my hope that providing this starter kit will lure in many more.
If you'd like to contribute, branch off next and send a pull req.