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Compiler from OCaml to Javascript.
OCaml JavaScript Standard ML Makefile HTML TypeScript

README.md

Js_of_ocaml (jsoo)

Js_of_ocaml is a compiler from OCaml bytecode to Javascript. It makes OCaml programs run on Web browsers.

  • It is easy to install and use as it works with an existing installation of OCaml, with no need to recompile any library.
  • It comes with bindings for a large part of the browser APIs.
  • According to our benchmarks, the generated programs runs typically faster than with the OCaml bytecode interpreter.
  • We believe this compiler will prove much easier to maintain than a retargeted OCaml compiler, as the bytecode provides a very stable API.

Requirements

  • Findlib: version 1.5.1 at least
  • Lwt: version 2.3.0 at least
  • Menhir
  • Cmdliner
  • cppo
  • base64 (version 2.0.0 at least)

optional

Toplevel requirements

  • base64 (version 2.0.0 at least)
  • ocp-indent: needed to support indentation in the toplevel
  • higlo: needed to support Syntax highlighting in the toplevel
  • cohttp: needed to build the toplevel webserver

Installation

Opam

opam install deriving js_of_ocaml

Manual

  • edit Makefile.conf to change the default configuration
  • run make to compile
  • run make install as root to install the compiler and its libraries
  • run make uninstall as root to uninstall them

You can run make toplevel if you want to build a Web-based OCaml toplevel as well. Try the toplevel

Usage

Your program must first be compiled using the OCaml bytecode compiler ocamlc. Javascript bindings are provided by the js_of_ocaml package. The syntax extension is provided by js_of_ocaml.syntax package.

ocamlfind ocamlc -package js_of_ocaml -syntax camlp4o -package js_of_ocaml.syntax -linkpkg -o cubes.byte cubes.ml

Then, run the js_of_ocaml compiler to produce Javascript code:

js_of_ocaml cubes.byte

Features

Most of the OCaml standard library is supported. However,

  • Weak semantic cannot be implemented using javascript. A dummy implementation is available (use +weak.js option)
  • Most of the Sys module is not supported.

Extra libraries distributed with Ocaml (such as Thread or Str) are not supported in general. However,

  • Bigarray: bigarrays are supported using Typed Arrays
  • Num: supported using +nat.js option
  • Graphics: partially supported using canvas (see also js_of_ocaml.graphics)
  • Unix: time related functions are supported

Tail call is not optimized in general. However, mutually recursive functions are optimized:

  • self recursive functions (when the tail calls are the function itself) are compiled using a loop.
  • trampolines are used otherwise.

Data representation differs from the usual one. Most notably, integers are 32 bits (rather than 31 bits or 63 bits), which is their natural size in JavaScript, and floats are not boxed. As a consequence, marshalling, polymorphic comparison, and hashing functions can yield results different from usual:

  • marshalling of floats is not supported (unmarshalling works);
  • the polymorphic hash function will not give the same results on datastructures containing floats;
  • these functions may be more prone to stack overflow.

Toplevel

Contents of the distribution

Filename Description
LICENSE license and copyright notice
README this file
compiler/ compiler
examples/ small examples
lib/ library for interfacing with Javascript APIs
runtime/ runtime system
toplevel/ web-based OCaml toplevel
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