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Here is the latest Caml Weekly News, for the week of March 31 to April 07, 2009.

  1. OCaml-based logic and theorem proving book available
  2. ocaml-autoconf macros 1.0 released
  3. PowerPC 405
  4. OCaml job at MyLife
  5. OSpec 0.1.0 - BDD for OCaml
  6. OCaml Batteries Included Beta 1

OCaml-based logic and theorem proving book available


John Harrison announced:
I'm pleased to announce the availability of my textbook on logic and
automated theorem proving, in which all the major techniques that are
described are also implemented as concrete OCaml code:

        Handbook of Practical Logic and Automated Reasoning

                           John Harrison

                  Cambridge University Press 2009

                        ISBN: 9780521899574

    Publisher's Web page:
    Code and resources:

You can already buy the book in Europe, and it should be available
elsewhere very soon, if it isn't already. Here's a table of

   1 Introduction
           1.1  What is logical reasoning?
           1.2  Calculemus!
           1.3  Symbolism
           1.4  Boole's algebra of logic
           1.5  Syntax and semantics
           1.6  Symbolic computation and OCaml
           1.7  Parsing
           1.8  Prettyprinting

   2 Propositional Logic
           2.1  The syntax of propositional logic
           2.2  The semantics of propositional logic
           2.3  Validity, satisfiability and tautology
           2.4  The De Morgan laws, adequacy and duality
           2.5  Simplification and negation normal form
           2.6  Disjunctive and conjunctive normal forms
           2.7  Applications of propositional logic
           2.8  Definitional CNF
           2.9  The Davis-Putnam procedure
           2.10 Staalmarck's method
           2.11 Binary Decision Diagrams
           2.12 Compactness

   3 First-order logic
           3.1  First-order logic and its implementation
           3.2  Parsing and printing
           3.3  The semantics of first-order logic
           3.4  Syntax operations
           3.5  Prenex normal form
           3.6  Skolemization
           3.7  Canonical models
           3.8  Mechanizing Herbrand's theorem
           3.9  Unification
           3.10 Tableaux
           3.11 Resolution
           3.12 Subsumption and replacement
           3.13 Refinements of resolution
           3.14 Horn clauses and Prolog
           3.15 Model elimination
           3.16 More first-order metatheorems

   4 Equality
           4.1  Equality axioms
           4.2  Categoricity and elementary equivalence
           4.3  Equational logic and completeness theorems
           4.4  Congruence closure
           4.5  Rewriting
           4.6  Termination orderings
           4.7  Knuth-Bendix completion
           4.8  Equality elimination
           4.9  Paramodulation

   5 Decidable problems
           5.1  The decision problem
           5.2  The AE fragment
           5.3  Miniscoping and the monadic fragment
           5.4  Syllogisms
           5.5  The finite model property
           5.6  Quantifier elimination
           5.7  Presburger arithmetic
           5.8  The complex numbers
           5.9  The real numbers
           5.10 Rings, ideals and word problems
           5.11 Groebner bases
           5.12 Geometric theorem proving
           5.13 Combining decision procedures

   6 Interactive theorem proving
           6.1  Human-oriented methods
           6.2  Interactive provers and proof checkers
           6.3  Proof systems for first-order logic
           6.4  LCF implementation of first-order logic
           6.5  Propositional derived rules
           6.6  Proving tautologies by inference
           6.7  First-order derived rules
           6.8  First-order proof by inference
           6.9  Interactive proof styles

   7 Limitations
           7.1  Hilbert's programme
           7.2  Tarski's theorem on the undefinability of truth
           7.3  Incompleteness of axiom systems
           7.4  Goedel's incompleteness theorem
           7.5  Definability and decidability
           7.6  Church's theorem
           7.7  Further limitative results
           7.8  Retrospective: the nature of logic

ocaml-autoconf macros 1.0 released


Richard Jones announced:
We've just released the first version of the 'official' OCaml autoconf
macros.  Now there is a central place to collect autoconf macros
related to detecting OCaml, OCaml tools and OCaml libraries.
Everything has been relicensed under a simple 3-clause BSD license (or

Git repo:;a=summary

This version was made possible by ...

* Olivier Andrieu
* Jean-Christophe Fillia^tre
* Richard W.M. Jones
* Georges Mariano
* Jim Meyering
* Stefano Zacchiroli
* OCamlForge, Debian & Red Hat

Richard Jones & Stefano Zacchiroli
Richard Jones later added:
I also wrote something about how to get started with OCaml & autoconf:

PowerPC 405


Continuing the thread from last week, Xavier Clerc said:
> I have built a MacOS-to-Linux cross-compiler last week.
> I do confirm that the hard part is getting a cross-[g]cc up and running.
> In fact, this is so tedious that I strongly encourage to resort to either
> a prepackaged cross-[g]cc (from binaries, from a Linux packaging
> system, whatever), or to the excellent "crosstool" available at :
> On the OCaml side, there are very few things to do and they are
> quite straightforward. First, you have to emulate the behaviour of
> "./configure" by producing "config/m.h", "config/s.h", and "config/Makefile"
> by hand. This is easier than it may sound, just start from "config/m-templ.h",
> "config/s-temp.h", and "config/Makefile-templ" (these are comprehensively
> commented).
> Then, you will have to slightly patch some Makefiles, and you are done.
> I will setup a webpage with all the necessary steps and patches as soon
> as I get my notes organized. This will allow us to share knowledge on the subject.

The build process I followed along with its accompagnying patch are
available on the Gallium wiki at the following URL:

This is clearly a very experimental draft that is still a bit hackish.
All reports, both positive and negative are hence very welcome,
in order to polish it up.

OCaml job at MyLife


Martin Jambon announced:
MyLife, a people search engine, is seeking an engineer to join a back-end
software development team in Mountain View, California.  The primary
requirements for this position are:

- proficiency in the OCaml programming language -- as most of the team's
software is written in OCaml

- proficiency in written English -- as much of our team communications (design
brainstorms, bug reports, etc.) are written

- proficiency with Linux and shell scripting, build tools, and source control

The ideal candidate will have a good nose for hunting bugs, diagnosing
performance problems, and reading colleagues' code.

MyLife offers an informal work environment, and an opportunity to work on
challenging engineering problems and information-retrieval algorithms over
vast data, with high-impact on end-user experience. Our team was formed at
Wink (acquired by MyLife this past summer) and includes contributors that are
active in the OCaml community.  If you're interested in applying for this
position, please contact the hiring manager at

OSpec 0.1.0 - BDD for OCaml


Andre Nathan announced:
I'm happy to announce the first public release of OSpec, an RSpec-inspired
Behavior-Driven Development library for OCaml using a Camlp4 syntax
extension. You can download this release from the ocamlcore forge at

or directly clone the repository from Github:

Here's a simple example of OSpec's syntax:

 describe "An even number" do
   it "should be divisible by two" do
     let divisible_by_two x = x mod 2 = 0 in
     42 should be divisible_by_two

   (* or simply: *)
   it "should be divisible by two" do
     (42 mod 2) should = 0

OSpec also supports before/after blocks, helper functions to aid in
specification writing, two different report formats and an extension
to the "match" syntax so tha you can use it in your expectations.
Please refer to the README file for details.

OCaml Batteries Included Beta 1


David Teller announced:
After numerous sleepless nights, the OCaml Batteries Included team is
happy to inform you of the release of version Beta 1. Barring any
bugfix, this release should mark API and syntax freeze.

You may download the source tarball from the Forge [1], read the on-line
API documentation [2] or the extended release notes [3].

Thanks to all the members of the team. We're waiting for your feedback
and bug reports!


He later added:
I should add that a GODI package has been uploaded.
Stefano Zacchiroli then added:
FWIW, a Debian package of beta 1 is available as well, in 
Debian/unstable (soon in Debian/testing): 

Using folding to read the cwn in vim 6+

Here is a quick trick to help you read this CWN if you are viewing it using vim (version 6 or greater).

:set foldmethod=expr
:set foldexpr=getline(v:lnum)=~'^=\\{78}$'?'<1':1

If you know of a better way, please let me know.

Old cwn

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