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RE: [Caml-list] RE: OCaml on CLR/JVM?
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Date: 2001-02-24 (17:52)
From: John Max Skaller <skaller@o...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] RE: OCaml on CLR/JVM?
Chris Tilt wrote:
> On the subject of who leads long term research (industry vs.
> institutions), I am dissapointed with the lack of functional
> programming exposure taught in undergraduate studies. It is
> very difficult to find programmers who have any history at
> all with this approach.

	I agree. I'm an example.
> Until institutions give equal time to functional, industry
> will be unaware of it.

> The process of adopting long-term a functional approach is
> going to be slow, but can be sped up if institutions produce
> graduates who have higher expectations of productivity
> through exposure to modern languages. I will help in any way
> that I can as I feel much appreciation to this community
> for our success, however it must start in education.

	Actually, I don't think it is 'functional' programming
that is really so important as the _approach_ to programming,
as exemplified by the Ocaml team.

	Programming involves 'compromises': Ocaml, for example,
isn't a functional programming language: it provides facilities
for functional, procedural and object oriented development.
Thus, referential transparency is lost,
but what the developers have refused to compromise is the 
static type system.

	What is important here, in my opinion, is that the
decisions are not made entirely by guessing, or by consensus,
or by experience, although these factors surely count,
but instead, where possible, decisions are informed and rational: 
based on having done some actual theory.

	It is this basis in theory which, in my opinion,
is the strength of 'functional' languages, rather than
the functional paradigm itself.

	Another example of similar work is the logic programming
language Mercury.

John (Max) Skaller,
10/1 Toxteth Rd Glebe NSW 2037 Australia voice: 61-2-9660-0850
checkout Vyper
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