T1: Real-World OCaml

  • Anil Madhavapeddy University of Cambridge
  • Yaron Minsky Jane Street
September 13, 2012 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM


OCaml is a statically typed functional language with a fast native code compiler and incremental garbage collector. In this tutorial, we will first introduce the basics of OCaml using an interactive environment running in a web browser, and the OPAM package manager. Then, we will introduce Jane Street's Core library, which is an industrial-strength alternative to the OCaml standard library. Core is designed with consistency, explicitness and efficiency in mind. Finally, we will demonstrate how to build fast Internet services such as a database-driven webserver using the Lwt asynchronous programming library and other open-source tools.


By the end of the tutorial, attendees will be familiar with basic OCaml syntax and how to install useful packages such as Core and Lwt. They will also understand how to build network servers for Internet serving.


Please bring a laptop to the tutorial. Ideally, you should install the required software on your laptop before the tutorial. If that fails, we'll have a machine on-site for you to connect to. In that case, make sure to have an RDP client (a client for Microsoft's Remote Desktop protocol) installed on your laptop, so you can connect to our on-site machine.

If you have problems or questions, please contact Mike Sperber (sperber(at)deinprogramm(dot)de).

Installing the prerequisite software

For the OCaml tutorial, you will only need:

After that, you run opam install core async lwt, and that will install all the packages required for the tutorial material.

Anil Madhavapeddy

Anil Madhavapeddy

Dr. Anil Madhavapeddy is a Senior Research Fellow at Wolfson College Cambridge based in the Systems Research Group in the Cambridge Computer Laboratory. Dr. Madhavapeddy was on the original team at Cambridge that developed the Xen hypervisor, and subsequently served as the product director for XenSource/Citrix before returning to academia. Prior to obtaining his PhD in 2006 from the University of Cambridge, Dr. Madhavapeddy had a diverse background in industry at Network Appliance, NASA, and Internet Vision. In addition to professional and academic activities, Dr. Madhavapeddy is an active member of the open source development community with the OpenBSD operating system and various networking, database and web applications, a member of the steering committee for Commercial Uses of Functional Programming, and on the boards of startup companies such as Ashima Arts.

Yaron Minsky

Yaron Minsky

Yaron Minsky obtained his PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University in 2002, focusing on distributed systems. In 2003, he joined Jane Street where he founded the quantitative research group and introduced OCaml to the organization. Today, he leads Jane Street's technology group, which uses OCaml as its primary development language.