OCaml wins the 2023 ACM SIGPLAN Programming Language Software Award.

Nicolás Ojeda Bär

On June 19, 2023, it was announced that the OCaml project received the 2023 ACM SIGPLAN Programming Language Software Award. Notices of the award are available at https://www.sigplan.org/Awards/Software and https://ocaml.org/news/sigplan_announcement.

The award is given in recognition of software systems that impact both academia and industry. Past recipients include the V8 Javascript engine, the LLVM compiler toolkit, the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC), the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), the Coq proof assistant (itself written in OCaml) and the CompCert verified compiler (also partly written in OCaml)1. Clearly, OCaml is in very good company!

The award is also dedicated to the development team of the OCaml compiler, led by Xavier Leroy since its inception. The contributors named in the award are: Alain Frisch (LexiFi), Anil Madhavapeddy (Cambridge University), Damien Doligez (INRIA), David Allsopp (Tarides), Florian Angeletti (INRIA), Gabriel Scherer (INRIA), Jacques Garrigue (University of Nagoya), Jérôme Vouillon (CNRS), KC Sivaramakrishnan (Tarides), Leo White (Jane Street), Luc Maranget (INRIA), Nicolás Ojeda Bär (LexiFi), Stephen Dolan (Jane Street), Xavier Leroy (Collège de France).

At LexiFi, we are happy to have contributed to the development of OCaml over the years (see this post for an overview of some of our contributions), and are proud to see two of our engineers in the above list!

Of course, this list is necessarily incomplete, as the development of OCaml would not have been possible without the countless other contributors that have selflessly donated their time and energy to improve the system over the years.

OCaml has been integral to LexiFi for the past 23 years. Its unique features allow us to implement an advanced formal algebraic description of structured products and carry out complex symbolic processing with ease and efficiency. More than a language, OCaml has proven to be a powerful productivity booster for all our general-purpose programming tasks, shaping LexiFi’s success within our industrial niche. Needless to say, we are happy and proud to see our technical decision to choose OCaml over some other, more popular technologies validated by this week’s announcement.

LexiFi’s ongoing relationship with the OCaml community and the continuous integration of new features and enhancements of OCaml into its own development processes allow LexiFi to continue delivering best-in-class products to our existing and future clients with unmatched quality, agility and functionality.

  1. Compilers are used to translate source code into programs that can be run by users in their machines. As such they are one of the crucial tools used by programmers at LexiFi to build our products. ↩︎