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Re: ocaml?? why?? (was: [Xen-devel] caml stubdom crashes)

To: Dan Magenheimer <dan.magenheimer@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: ocaml?? why?? (was: [Xen-devel] caml stubdom crashes)
From: John Levon <levon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2009 06:33:21 -0400
Cc: Alex Zeffertt <alex.zeffertt@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Patrick Colp <pjcolp@xxxxxxxxx>, xen-devel <xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "George S. Coker, II" <gscoker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Samuel Thibault <samuel.thibault@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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On Thu, Apr 02, 2009 at 12:39:04PM -0700, Dan Magenheimer wrote:

> Why ocaml?  Let me make it clear that I know very little
> about ocaml... it may be a perfect match for the job and
> the best language since sliced bread, but as far as I can
> tell it is NOT A WIDELY DEPLOYED language.  As a result,
> the Xen community is going to have to work through all
> of the little distro/version-dependent idiosyncracies and

I agree that might well be a concern, but it's not the major one IMHO.
Simply put, the barrier to entry for hacking Xen tools written in ocaml
is much, much higher. Whilst you might be willing to learn a new
language, most people won't be. Never mind re-learn everything they know
about debugging it[1].

Put another way: xenstored is hardly stretching C's capabilities. xend
is hardly stretching Python's (at least now Twisted isn't used). Where
is the /need/ for a new, little-understood, language to be used?

I also find it a little difficult to believe that xenstored-C's
purported defects couldn't have been fixed, and required a total


[1] I'm not exactly excited about hacking the OCaml runtime to
reimplement http://blogs.sun.com/levon/entry/dtrace_on_xenstored

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