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RE: When functional languages can be accepted by industry?
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Date: 2000-04-25 (17:02)
From: Michael Hohn <hohn@m...>
Subject: Re: When functional languages can be accepted by industry?

>> ...
>>    > Vitaly Lugovsky wrote:
>>    > >
>>    > > P.S. Maybe, all that we need, is a RAD tool for ocaml? It can
>>    > > look like a better module finder ("module name" -> "file name" is not
>>    > > a good idea. Paths in Java is much better), and a lot of reusable
>>    > > modules for common tasks (database, GUI)...
>>    There are two different problems with RADs
>>    * making one requires lots of work, and is not necessarily very
>>      rewarding for the author, who himself can probably work
>>      without. That's the reason you don't find many RADs in the open
>>      source community.
>>      You can find an embryo of such a thing in lablgtk for instance, but
>>      I have no idea whether it will become really a full fledge RAD some
>>      day.
>>    * it is not so clear how useful it would be for a language like ocaml.
>>      Code in ocaml is much more compact than in C++ or JAVA, so that code
>>      generation is not so useful in itself. I agree that this might be
>>      nice for beginners, but if it is nice for beginners only, then it's
>>      even harder to find the workforce.
>> ...

There are some other problems:
*    RADs usually support just one language, maybe two.  But when a
project consists of combinations of sh, Python, Maple or Mathematica,
ocaml, C/C++ and some Tcl/Tk code, Makefiles are the way to go.
*    RADs are not programmable.  Makefiles can be generated.

>> ...
>>    > 	There already is one: the lablbrowser. It's quite
>>    > good functionally -- but the interface sucks.
>>    Name has changed, it is now ocamlbrowser.
>>    As Vitaly answered, this is not a RAD, but more a kind of IDE, more
>>    centered on library browsing than project building.
>>    As always I admire how constructive your comments are :-)
>>    The interface is that way because I like it that way:
>>    * the main functionality is in one small window that I can keep on my
>>      screen all the time.
>>    * there is one window by module, because I often want to browse
>>      several modules simultaneously.
>>    * editor functionality is reduced to a minimum, because real
>>      programmers use emacs anyway.
>> ...

I agree.  Using lablbrowser was quite pleasant, and there are no
annoying frills to get in the way.