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Caml Light


Caml Light is a lightweight, portable implementation of the core Caml language that was developed in the early 1990's, as a precursor to OCaml. It used to run on most Unix machines, as well as PC under Microsoft Windows. The implementation is obsolete, no longer actively maintained, and will be removed eventually. We recommend switching immediately to its successor, OCaml.

Caml Light is implemented as a bytecode compiler, and fully bootstrapped. The runtime system and bytecode interpreter is written in standard C, hence Caml Light is easy to port to almost any 32 or 64 bit platform. The whole system is quite small: about 100K for the runtime system, and another 100K of bytecode for the compiler. Two megabytes of memory is enough to recompile the whole system.

Debugging is possible by tracing function calls in the same way as in OCaml. In the example therein, one should write trace "fib";; instead of #trace fib;; and untrace "fib";; instead of #untraceĀ fib;;. There also exists a debugger, as a user contribution.

Some common questions are answered in the FAQ.


The Caml Light system is open source software, please read its license for more details. The latest release can be freely downloaded on this site, together with its user's manual. See also Functional programming using Caml Light for an introduction to functional programming in general and the Caml Light language in particular.