Gerd Stolpmann proudly presents



[April, 2001] JavaCaml has been updated such that it can be compiled with O'Caml 3 and JDK 1.3. However, I currently have no time to add missing features; actually the code is unchanged since 1998 (i.e. it is more or less dead). If somebody wants to take JavaCaml over, please do it.


The basis of the new interpreter I present here is Objective Caml, a dialect of the ML family of languages developed at the INRIA institute and available on the Internet, see the Caml homepage. It is possible to execute programs compiled with Objective Caml on all platforms running a Java virtual machine. The mainly interesting point is to use this language for client-side WWW scripts running in the browser which has some advantages:

Objective Caml comes with two compilers, one generating bytecode and another producing native executables. The bytecode has only very few primitives (much fewer than Java), such that it seemed to be possible to translate the C-language bytecode interpreter of Objective Caml to Java.

And here is the result: JavaCaml. It is currently in a very early stage, but can already run some demonstration programs. Some core features of the Objective Caml language are not supported yet, so please don't expect that your favourite OCaml application can already be executed.

Objective Caml has been designed for stand-alone applications. When running in a browser the environment is completely different and needs a new set of libraries supporting what is required for applets. I have begun such a library called Net_runtime which makes it possible that JavaScript programs can call Objective Camls functions. This is currently the only chance to communicate with the outer world since the AWT toolkit of Java is invisible in JavaCaml. So programming browser applications running in JavaCaml means generating HTML fragments that can be sent to a superordinated JavaScript program and there be put into an HTML frame. This is the same technique often used in server-side WWW applications.