OCaml Weekly News

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Here is the latest OCaml Weekly News, for the week of March 02 to 09, 2021.

Table of Contents

Working on an app to learn and execute OCaml on iPhone/iPad/Mac for beginners

Nathan Fallet announced

I started to work on a new project recently: My goal is to provide an iOS app for beginners to learn OCaml and practice on their device. I think it is a good idea to get started easily.

Here are some screenshots of what I’ve done so far:


I’m open to feedback and opinion about this project idea

Nathan Fallet then added

I made it available for pre order on the App Store - I will keep improving it with time, and I think it can be a great tool for beginners


Yawar Amin replied

This is really cool. I just want to point out that your app is the sole search result for 'OCaml' in the App Store. So that's a first :-)

Incidentally, there is an 'OCaml Toplevel' app on the Android Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fr.vernoux.ocaml

Your app looks more sophisticated though. Hopefully one day we have something like Swift Playgrounds and people can start learning OCaml interactively on their devices directly.

ERic (Entity-Relation interactive calculator) version 0.3

Damien Guichard announced

The programming languages zoo is a great resource for wanna-be interpreter/compiler writers. The ICFP 2000 programming contest is another great resource for wanna-be ray tracers. However until now there has been no OCaml resource for wanna-be Knowledge Representation tool-ers. This makes sound like KR tool is a more difficult area than other projects. ERic v0.3 demonstrates the opposite as it's about 1200 lines size (lexer & hand-written parser included) and reads/writes a Conceptual Graph Interchange Format (CGIF) notation.

OCaml Café: Tue, March 9 @ 7-9pm (CST)

Claude Jager-Rubinson announced

Please join us next Tuesday at 7pm Central time for the second meeting of OCaml Café. Zoom connection info is available at Houston Functional Programmers.

OCaml Café offers a friendly, low stakes opportunity to ask questions about the OCaml language and ecosystem, work through programming problems that you’re stuck on, and get feedback on your code. Especially geared toward new and intermediate users, experienced OCaml developers will be available to answer your questions.

Whether you’re still trying to make sense of currying or can spot non-tail-recursive code from across the room, we hope that you’ll join us with your questions about OCaml, or just to hang out with the OCaml community.

Functional Programming User Study (Specifically in OCaml)

Ahan Malhotra announced

We are doing user studies to help us understand how to help people understand and navigate complex information about programming documentation, specifically in OCaml. You will complete a series tasks that help us understand working memory and how you navigate a new interface. After examining a layout of the data (interface) for a short, predetermined amount of time, you will be asked a set of comprehension and/or qualitative questions to measure whether the methods of presenting this information has any impact on your performance.

The study will take around 55 minutes, and you will be entered into a lottery for a $150 Amazon gift card as compensation for your time.

A bit more about this study

The user study will be done virtually on Zoom. You will be asked to various tasks with the interface. The interface is deployed as a public web application so you don’t have to install anything. This research is governed by Harvard University's Committee on the Use of Human Subjects.


You also don’t have to be an expert in anything to participate. You just need to be fluent in English and over 18 years of age.

If you are interested, please fill out this survey to confirm your eligibility, and we will follow up to schedule the study session: https://forms.gle/q6vkyEE2tSjjZoiSA

If you have any questions, please email ahanmalhotra@college.harvard.edu.

OCaml 4.12.0 released (with 4.11.2 too)

Continuing this thread from last week, Hannes Mehnert said

Congratulations to the new release. For the curious who intend to install a flambda version of 4.12 and are surprised that ocaml-variants.4.12.0+flambda does not exist, from this thread the opam layout has changed, and now the following works:

$ opam sw create <my-switch-name> --packages=ocaml-variants.4.12.0+options,ocaml-options-only-flambda

There are more configuration options available, take a look at the output of opam search ocaml-option for all options. (I've not been involved with this development. I don't quite understand why there is for each Y a ocaml-option-Y and a ocaml-options-only-Y.) I also have not figured out whether there's a way to pass -O3 in the just created switch.

Maybe it is worth to embed such information in the very nicely styled OCaml manual (considering that opam got quite some traction over the years and is recommended for OCaml developers)?

Other OCaml News


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