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overhead of GC in caml runtime?
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Date: 2000-08-08 (21:10)
From: Pierre Weis <Pierre.Weis@i...>
Subject: Re: Imperative programming in Caml
Hi Walid

> > If you write:
> > 
> > imperative call;
> > let x = blah in
> >   imperative call
> > 
> > then you get a little distracted by the indentation.  
> Got it!
> > Mmm.  I don't think you're going to have much success at showing that
> > O'Caml is a reasonable language without using at least some
> > polymorphism.  Perhaps this restatement of my previous code would
> > help, though:
> > 
> > type optional_int =
> >        | No_Int
> >        | Some_Int of int
> I feel you were "righter" the first time.  An "option" type is somehow
> semanticaly implict in having "null/nill" in every pointer.  So, I think
> it is reasonable to interpreter "'a pointer" as "'a option ref".  This
> also suggests a naturally way to translate imperative programs to
> functional programs systematically.
> Thanks again for the great feedback.
> Walid.

Your problem seems to have something to do with elementary programming
in Caml; you may have a look at the documentation, in particular the
FAQ where basic indentation hints are given in the programming guide
lines (, and questions
about imperative programming in Caml including the existence of
imperative pointers and their encoding in Caml are discussed in
details (

Note: if you really do not want to use any kind of polymorphism, I'm
afraid you will have a bad time to write and explain imperative
programming examples in Caml, since you cannot use references ('a
ref), nor arrays ('a array), nor options ('a option), nor lists ('a
list); if you also consistently banish polymorphism from your function
type schemes, what could you do without the basic predicates such that
(=) (that has type 'a -> 'a -> bool), or even any comparison
predicates (<, <=, <>, ...)  that are also polymorphic ?

Hope this helps,

Pierre Weis

INRIA, Projet Cristal,,