|11 months ago||about 1 month ago|
|GNU General Public License v3.0 or later||MIT License|
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Ocaml for web development
8 projects | reddit.com/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.
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 | reddit.com/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
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.
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.
...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:
For good measure, there is also an example with the other OCaml-to-JS compiler...
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)
That page doesn’t link to the examples in GitHub whose README  is unexpectedly informative.
Anyone using this in anger?
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?
lwt - OCaml promises and concurrent I/O
sihl - A modular functional web framework
rescript-compiler - The compiler for ReScript.
opium - Sinatra like web toolkit for OCaml
re-web - Experimental web framework for ReasonML & OCaml
soupault - Static website generator based on HTML element tree rewriting
jsoo-react - js_of_ocaml bindings for ReactJS. Based on ReasonReact.
ocaml-cohttp - An OCaml library for HTTP clients and servers using Lwt or Async
httpaf - A high performance, memory efficient, and scalable web server written in OCaml
ocaml-lsp - OCaml Language Server Protocol implementation
yesod-persistent - A RESTful Haskell web framework built on WAI.
streaming - Fast, safe and composable streaming abstractions.