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Re: [Caml-list] Why People Aren't Using OCAML? (was Haskell)
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Date: -- (:)
From: Vijay Chakravarthy <vchakravarthy@v...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Why People Aren't Using OCAML? (was Haskell)
We are also trying to use Ocaml out here, mainly for prototyping purposes
(at least thats the way I'll introduce it to the rest of the org.)
Once they find that rewriting the prototypes in java takes 10 times the
effort.....
The main difficulties we have faced have been --
a) Education - Out here even for people skilled in scheme and some other
functional languages, it is challenging to learn ocaml. My
team found it easier to learn erlang, for example. However, people love the
strong type checking, and the fact that if it compiles its
likely to run correctly... The english translation of the horse book should
help.
b) As I mentioned in a previous message, support for Windows is weak. Many
of us use Linux for development, but our sales team,
which would show off the demos and prototypes, has windows laptops.
Therefore the need to show off web apps on windows.
Difficulties in building important packages (like pxp) on windows, plus the
need to write even simple things like web servers, and
database interfaces etc is a painful situation. With some difficulty we
could compile many of the packages, but its not as smooth
as it should be. Also fork based web server/services (such as in the geneweb
distribution) will not work on windows. A select based
single threaded web server would be really useful (By web server I am not
referring necessarily to a full fledged web server, but rather
services that are accessible through a http interface)
c) Package availability is fragmented. I have a good idea of various
packages etc, but to a newcomer, there is no single place to
track down code examples. Plus larger packages like Ensemble, Geneweb etc
contain modules that would be useful in general, but
that is visible only when one peruses the source code of such packages.

On the other hand, the language and the libraries are excellent. Plus
functional programming languages are IDEAL for the type
of work we do, which is in the enterprise software space. Things like bills
of materials, available to promise engines etc are quite
entertaining to deal with in the context of functional languages, and
especially ocaml.

Vijay

BTW, I dont know if this is the right place for this, but are there any
people interested in ocaml programming out here in the
San Francisco area? Or alternatively, if there are people on this list
skilled in ocaml and interested in some sort of remote contract
programming arrangement, please send me email.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Arturo Borquez" <aborquez@altavista.com>
To: <mattias.waldau@abc.se>
Cc: <caml-list@inria.fr>
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2001 7:17 PM
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Why People Aren't Using OCAML? (was Haskell)


> On Fri, 23 March 2001, "Mattias Waldau" wrote:
>
> >
> > Something we should think about also for Ocaml
> >
> > http://www.jelovic.com/articles/why_people_arent_using_haskell.htm
> >
> > "What can be done about this? First and foremost the Haskell community
must
> > make a standard distribution of Haskell that contains enough libraries
to be
> > useful. That should include a regular expression library, an Internet
> > protocol library, a library for dealing with standard internet data and
> > encoding, a crypto library, a multimedia library and a GUI library.
> >
> > Next, the Haskell community must step out of its research circles and
start
> > publicizing Haskell to the practicing programmers. Write articles in DDJ
and
> > similar publications. Publish real-world programs written in Haskell."
> >
> > Most of this is also relevant for Ocaml, for example there are
> > crypto libraries and XML-support (for example PXP, which require wlex,
which
> > is a hazzle).
> >
> Hi Mattias:
> As I am part of the 'real world programmers' from the begining I have
being trying to put OCaml to work in trivial but 'real world apps' with
great success. I must recognize that I am not so skilled in the language to
participate in the theoric-forum, but yet I have coded some apps (server
services) to my company to show the reliability of OCaml, and we are all
agree that is a great language. But a great language to be successful and
honour the great effort done by the authors must be promoted actively
outside the research environment. I believe that lots of programmers not use
OCaml because they are unaware about its existence. How to do it? The
strategy and decision is to be made by INRIA and/or Caml Consortuim.
Personaly I would like to see OCaml world wide spreaded playing in the
'great leages'.
>
>
> Find the best deals on the web at AltaVista Shopping!
> http://www.shopping.altavista.com
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