Dear OCaml community,
I work in high performance computing (HPC) and I really love OCaml. But users hate programs written with OCaml because they find it very hard to install on the HPC clusters they use every day. This is the problem I would like to solve.
On an HPC cluster, you have a huge amount of C/C++/Fortran codes, so you have access to tons of compilers and libraries for those languages. Now that machine learning is trendy, the HPC systems have adapted to Python. But when you use something else, you are alone.
The good news is that there exists some package managers designed for HPC clusters, that will solve the dependencies and compile everything from source using adapted libraries and compilers. One of those is package managers is Spack. Honestly, I find this package manager very helpful for C/C+/Fortran/Python packages.
So I decided to change the world, and became a maintainer of the OCaml package for Spack. I tried to do my best, but I really need some help now!
I think the problems I am facing have already been solved by some of you, because they are the same as the “OPAM vs Linux distro packaging” questions.
For the moment, the OCaml Spack package can be installed from source, as a regular program, and the OCaml libraries need to be installed also as Spack packages. I think it is a bit stupid, because this means that the developers have to re-package everything from OPAM to Spack. So I made a Spack package for OPAM, but now I am facing other difficulties.
I am now trying to modify the (Python) source code of Spack in such a way that OCaml becomes a language known by Spack, and so that Spack defers the packaging to OPAM.
I am not a developer of Spack nor of OPAM, but just an isolated OCaml programmer who wants to help the community. I would like to initiate some short-term collaboration between OPAM/OCaml-aware people with the Spack developers to sort out the big design problems, and then things will run smoothly and I can get back to my role of ocaml package maintainer.
I started a fork of Spack here a few months ago, if you want to have a look:
Please contact me if you are willing to participate!