ocaml VS dune

Compare ocaml vs dune and see what are their differences.


The core OCaml system: compilers, runtime system, base libraries (by ocaml)


A composable build system for OCaml. (by ocaml)
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ocaml dune
116 27
5,088 1,506
1.0% 1.4%
9.8 9.9
about 6 hours ago 2 days ago
OCaml OCaml
GNU General Public License v3.0 or later MIT License
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of ocaml. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-11-12.
  • OCaml: a Rust developer's first impressions
    4 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 12 Nov 2023
    > But .mli files do not help with the "no types in the source code" problém

    It partially helps since it forces you to have types where they matters most: interfaces.

    > And I did not experience any advantage of separate signature files so far,

    100kLoc is already quite big! I'm starting to think I'm an outlier since a lot of people don't see the benefits :)

    For me, it helps because I really don't want to see the implementation when I use an API. If I need to look at the implementation, it means the interface isn't well specified. All I need should be in the interface: types, docs, (abstract) types. And no more.

    Typically, an .ml file will have more than what is exported, types won't be abstract but will have a concrete implementation, and type signatures may be missing. How would it feels like to use list if only https://github.com/ocaml/ocaml/blob/trunk/stdlib/list.ml was available, instead of https://github.com/ocaml/ocaml/blob/trunk/stdlib/list.mli?

    Haskell tells you what is exported from a module, but it only shows you the names. To see the signatures, you need to rely on generated doc.

    Arguably, since OCaml has includes, it suffers from the same problem, your ".mli" may have tons of include and it becomes harder to see what's exported without an external tool

    4 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 12 Nov 2023
    > It partially helps since it forces you to have types where they matters most: exported functions

    But the problém the OP has is not knowing the types when reading the source (in the .ml file).

    > How would it feels like to use list if only https://github.com/ocaml/ocaml/blob/trunk/stdlib/list.ml was available,

    If the signature where in the source file (which you can do in OCaml too), there would be no problem - which is what all the other (for some definition of "other") languages except C and C++ (even Fortran) do.

    No, really, I can't see a single advantage of separate .mli files at all. The real problém is that the documentation is often worse too, as the .mli is autogenerated and documented afterwards - and now changes made later in the sources need to be documented in the mli too, so anything that doesn't change the type often gets lost. The same happens in C and C++ with header files.

  • Bringing more sweetness to ruby with sorbet types 🍦
    5 projects | dev.to | 18 Sep 2023
    If you have been in the Ruby community for the past couple of years, it's possible that you're not a super fan of types or that this concept never passed through your mind, and that's totally cool. I myself love the dynamic and meta-programming nature of Ruby, and honestly, by the time of this article's writing, we aren't on the level of OCaml for type checking and inference, but still, there are a couple of nice things that types with sorbet bring to the table:
  • What is gained and lost with 63-bit integers? (2014)
    2 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 12 Aug 2023
    Looks like there have been proposals to eliminate use of 3 operand lea in OCaml code (not accepted sadly):


  • What can Category Theory do?
    2 projects | /r/askmath | 22 Jun 2023
    Haskell and Agda are probably the most obvious examples. Ocaml too, but it is much older, so its type system is not as categorical. There is also Idris, which is not as well-known but is very cool.
  • Playing Atari Games in OCaml
    2 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 15 Jun 2023
  • Bloat
    4 projects | /r/ProgrammingLanguages | 22 May 2023
    That does sound problematic, but without the code it is hard to tell what is the issue. Typically, compiling a 6kLoc file like https://github.com/ocaml/ocaml/blob/trunk/typing/typecore.ml takes 0.8 s on my machine.
    4 projects | /r/ProgrammingLanguages | 22 May 2023
  • Key takeways from OpenAI CEO's 3-hour Senate testimony, where he called for AI models to be licensed by US govt. Full breakdown inside.
    2 projects | /r/ChatGPT | 17 May 2023
    NEAT is a fascinating algorithm. I've been interested in it ever since SethBling made a video about it playing Mario and this series of experiments about a variant of NEAT that evolves in real-time rather than by-generation. I'm finally getting to be just good enough of a programmer that I am actually considering writing my own (probably in OCaml because there's an unfortunate lack of NEAT implementations in functional programming languages).
  • So Hows the Hackathon Going?
    4 projects | /r/ProgrammerHumor | 10 May 2023
    easier than haskell and easier for writing compilers: https://ocaml.org/


Posts with mentions or reviews of dune. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-08-21.

What are some alternatives?

When comparing ocaml and dune you can also consider the following projects:

statsd-filter-proxy-rs - A filter proxy for StatsD

Alpaca-API - The Alpaca API is a developer interface for trading operations and market data reception through the Alpaca platform.

opam - opam is a source-based package manager. It supports multiple simultaneous compiler installations, flexible package constraints, and a Git-friendly development workflow.

VisualFSharp - The F# compiler, F# core library, F# language service, and F# tooling integration for Visual Studio

TradeAlgo - Stock trading algorithm written in Python for TD Ameritrade.

melange - A mixture of tooling combined to produce JavaScript from OCaml & Reason

rust - Rust for the xtensa architecture. Built in targets for the ESP32 and ESP8266

rust - Empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

koka - Koka language compiler and interpreter

rescript-compiler - The compiler for ReScript.

CorrinoEngine - CorrinoEngine is an open-source project which will recreate the Emperor : Battle for Dune

awesome-cl - A curated list of awesome Common Lisp frameworks, libraries and other shiny stuff.