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Re: [Caml-list] ocaml complexity
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Date: 2001-06-08 (09:41)
From: leary@n...
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] ocaml complexity
On Thu, Jun 07, 2001 at 07:29:27PM +0100, Jonathan Coupe wrote:
> 1. Perl was perceived by the adopters who gave it critical mass as being
> fundamentally like the languages they already knew (bash, C, Awk) It was a
> low risk, low effort, low fear choice.

A Hitchhiker's Guide to type theory (and all the other alien things my eyes
glaze over at on this list) aimed at the unwashed masses would go a long
way to making OCaml (and functional programming in general) more
accessible.  Did I pass over one somewhere?

> 2. Perl is aimed most of all at small projects. The risk of trying new tools
> in this space is low - throwing away a 200 lines of code is annoying, but
> not job threatening. And benefits are quickly perceiveable. Ocaml's best use
> is probably larger projects beyond the scope of scripting languages.
> Throwing a way an even quarter completed project is likely to mean the loss
> of several thousand lines of coding effort, and you're unlikely to have
> proveable benefits until the end of the first project, which is more likely
> to be months, not days or hours, after starting work.

How much time and money do development teams spend creating and tracking
down memory management errors in C and C++ starting on day one?  At least
some of the benefits are immediate and ongoing.

> 3. Perl's regexp gave it a decisive edge in several rapidly expanding
> niches.

And OCaml has features which give it a decisive edge in markets too big to
be called mere niches.

> 4. Its easy to perceive Perl's strengths from an initial examination, and
> perhaps harder to pick up on its weaknesses.

I can say exactly the same of OCaml.

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