ocaml-webmachine VS dream

Compare ocaml-webmachine vs dream and see what are their differences.


A REST toolkit for OCaml (by inhabitedtype)


Tidy, feature-complete Web framework (by aantron)
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ocaml-webmachine dream
1 9
224 1,477
0.4% -
0.0 8.4
over 2 years ago 28 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-webmachine. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2022-02-13.
  • Ocaml for web development
    8 projects | /r/ocaml | 13 Feb 2022
    We (a small company creating specialized inventory management and e-commerce systems) use Dream for web development. Webmachine and Cohttp for creating RESTful APIs. HTTP-clients with Ocurl and Cohttp. We are very happy with our choice of technologies.


Posts with mentions or reviews of dream. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-02-10.
  • Ask HN: What Happened to Elm?
    12 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 10 Feb 2023
    > It sounds like you read my statement as "run the exact same code in node or OCaml" which I agree would have been very hard.

    Hello! Indeed, I did misunderstand you. I agree that it was possible to share some parts of the code between Reason's JS target with BuckleScript, and native target with the stock OCaml compiler. I think a pretty reasonable number of people did that. Actually, it's still possible to this day even with ReScript e.g. https://github.com/aantron/dream/tree/master/example/w-fulls...

    > Between the breaking changes and the general change in development philosophy...switching to the ReScript compiler for my project would have required nearly a complete rewrite.

    There were perhaps a couple of minor breaking changes but can you explain why it would have required a near complete rewrite? I wasn't aware of anything major like that. ReScript even supported and as far as I know, to this day continues to support the old Reason syntax.

  • Functional Reactive Programming
    9 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 16 Aug 2022
    > you might want to check out OCaml for general purpose programming

    Any tips on backend frameworks to look at? I need to write a small websocket service for a side-project and have always wanted to try OCaml. I came across https://github.com/aantron/dream.

  • so people are making these
    3 projects | /r/ProgrammerHumor | 31 Jul 2022
    The framework I played around with for OCaml was called Dream: https://github.com/aantron/dream. I think it had built-in support for auth, but I didn't use it in what I was doing. I also barely scratched the surface of what it supported. On the whole, it seemed really nice though. The biggest issues I had were figuring out OCaml since I'd literally never used it before and figuring out how to make an HTTP call from within OCaml since the documentation can be iffy. Thankfully, Dream's documentation was actually reasonably good.
  • The New OCaml Website
    6 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 29 Apr 2022
  • Dream – Tidy Web Framework for OCaml and ReasonML
    10 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 9 Apr 2021
    AFAICT all of these are client-side frameworks. Dream is a server-side framework. I currently write my server with Dream and use regular JS React on the client.

    If you glance at most of Dream's examples that serve an interactive client, you will see that they serve JavaScript:


    You can use anything you want for the client, and I use the JS ecosystem heavily in my own usage.

    There are several full-stack OCaml examples, but that's entirely optional:


    As for server-side comparisons, OCaml is much easier for me to work with than, for example, TypeScript for many reasons. The first is that I can compile several hundred OCaml files, in the rare case of a full rebuild, in less time than running tsc incrementally on a small project, resulting in a much better iteration experience.

    10 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 9 Apr 2021
    ...and just to make it slightly more confusing, ReScript changed the ReasonML language somewhat, prompting another fork, Melange, which sticks with ReasonML.

    In any case, Dream has examples showing full-stack (OCaml client+server) usage with both ReScript and Melange:

    - ReScript: https://github.com/aantron/dream/tree/master/example/w-fulls...

    - Melange: https://github.com/aantron/dream/tree/master/example/r-fulls...

    For good measure, there is also an example with the other OCaml-to-JS compiler...

    - Js_of_ocaml: https://github.com/aantron/dream/tree/master/example/w-fulls...

    10 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 9 Apr 2021
    Dream doesn't have much of a system call dependency footprint itself. It's basically just a convention for plugging request -> response functions into a web server. Some of its native dependencies will have to be replaced by Node equivalents. Soon after that, it would be portable to Node.

    There is already work underway to port Dream to Mirage, to run in unikernels: https://github.com/aantron/dream/pull/22

    Lwt, Dream's promise library, is itself getting ported to run on top of libuv: https://github.com/ocsigen/lwt/issues/813

    libuv is, of course, the I/O library that powers Node, so it might be practical to run Dream as a native node module very soon after doing this.

    (As an aside, I'm supposed to work on that libuv project, but instead I've been working on Dream :P)

    10 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 9 Apr 2021
    That page doesn’t link to the examples in GitHub whose README [1] is unexpectedly informative.

    Anyone using this in anger?

    [1] https://github.com/aantron/dream/tree/master/example#readme

    10 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 9 Apr 2021
    Yes. OCaml + all of the 3 OCaml-to-JS compilers support OCaml syntax.

    Dream itself demonstrates:

    - Server and client both written in Reason, using ocamlc+Melange https://github.com/aantron/dream/tree/master/example/r-fulls...

    That example could also have been written in OCaml syntax, because ocamlc (native) and Melange (JS) both support OCaml. However, Reason is nicer if you want to use React with JSX.

    - Server and client both written in OCaml, using ocamlc+Js_of_ocaml https://github.com/aantron/dream/tree/master/example/w-fulls...

    The remaining example uses Ocaml on the server and ReScript on the client, using the ReScript compiler. However, you could use OCaml on the client with the ReScript compiler. Just as with Melange, you would lose access to nice JSX syntax https://github.com/aantron/dream/tree/master/example/r-fulls...

    It's definitely a lot and not user-friendly to have to decide between all these options, but the community is experimenting greatly right now... so it's good and bad, and that's how it is :/

    As for Node.js, using ReScript syntax requires you to use Node.js on the native side, but that is the only coupling. If you write your native side in OCaml or Reason, you can compile it to native code with ocamlc (technically, ocamlopt is the internal command; nobody uses either one directly, but the build system calls them).

What are some alternatives?

When comparing ocaml-webmachine and dream you can also consider the following projects:

rescript-compiler - The compiler for ReScript.

sihl - A modular functional web framework

opium - Sinatra like web toolkit for OCaml

lwt - OCaml promises and concurrent I/O

httpaf - A high performance, memory efficient, and scalable web server written in OCaml

ocaml-cohttp - An OCaml library for HTTP clients and servers using Lwt or Async

re-web - Experimental web framework for ReasonML & OCaml

soupault - Static website generator based on HTML element tree rewriting

swift-async-algorithms - Async Algorithms for Swift

cosmic-epoch - Next generation Cosmic desktop environment

jsoo-react - js_of_ocaml bindings for ReactJS. Based on ReasonReact.

ocaml-lsp - OCaml Language Server Protocol implementation