Building Opa in 32-bit Ubuntu 11.10

Heard of Opa? It’s a full web app stack by MLstate. It focuses on allowing developers to create highly scalable, highly interactive, rich web applications as easily as possible.

Here’s “Hello World” in Opa:
server = Server.one_page_server("Hello", ( -> <>Hello web</>))

And here’s a chat room in 20 ELOC:
import stdlib.themes.bootstrap

type message = {author: string /**The name of the author (arbitrary string)*/
; text: string /**Content entered by the user*/}

@publish room ="room"):

user_update(x: message) =
line =
<div class="row line">
<div class="span2 columns user">{}:</div>
<div class="span13 columns message">{x.text}</div>
do Dom.transform([#conversation +Dom.scroll_to_bottom(#conversation)

broadcast(author) =
text = Dom.get_value(#entry)
message = {~author ~text}
do Network.broadcast(message, room)

start() =
author = Random.string(8)
<div id="#conversation" class="container">Network.add_callback(user_update, room)}&gt;</div>
<div id="#footer">
<div class="container"><input id="#entry" class="xlarge" type="text" />broadcast(author)}/&gt;
<div class="btn primary" onclick="{_">broadcast(author)}&gt;Post</div>
server = Server.one_page_bundle("Chat",
["resources/css.css"], start)

In Opa, the Javascript, HTML, and database models are all generated from the same code.

I was intrigued, so I decided to give it a spin. Unfortunately my laptop was running Ubuntu 11.04 on a 32-bit processor. At the time of this writing, the only binaries available are for 64-bit Linux or OS X. But I decided to try building from source anyway. Haven’t quite got it figured out yet, but I’ve made some progress! If anyone can help me out, that’d be great.

My steps so far:

  1. Update Ubuntu to 11.10 if you’re running an earlier version. Opa requires OCaml 3.12, but the latest version of OCaml in the 11.04 repositories is only 3.11.
  2. Install dependencies:
    sudo apt-get install ocaml libssl-ocaml-dev libcryptokit-ocaml-dev libzip-ocaml-dev libocamlgraph-ocaml-dev ocaml-ulex camlp4 camlp4-extra
  3. Download and decompress the Opa source package from Github.
    tar -xzf master
  4. Configure and build.
    cd MLstate-opalang*
    ./configure -ocamldir /usr/lib/ocaml

And that’s as far as I’ve gotten so far. At that point I get the following error:

File "buildinfos/", line 14, characters 0-3:
Error: Syntax error
Command exited with code 2.
No cache, no trx exe: sorry, cannot build libnet/http/ from libnet/http/request.trx.
You may want to re-run with TRX_OVERRIDE set.
Compilation unsuccessful after building 521 targets (512 cached) in 00:00:04.
make: *** [all] Error 2

I intend to do some digging about to solve this issue. I’ll keep this post updated, so keep checking back.