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Re: [Caml-list] ocaml complexity
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Date: 2001-06-08 (20:24)
From: Chris Hecker <checker@d...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] ocaml complexity

Do people actually see the current "market penetration" of ocaml as a problem?  One big problem would be if INRIA didn't think it was popular enough to continue funding it, but anything short of that is not disasterous.  We might get more libraries and whatnot with more people, but there would be downsides to more popularity as well.

I guess I'm kind of enjoying learning an unhyped language with a high signal/noise mailing list of smart people (who do bash C++ a little too much, but oh well :).

I much prefer the slower word-of-mouth adoption rate that ocaml seems to have over the MOP (Marketing Oriented Programming) and "get users at any cost" that has taken over language design these days.

People seem to discover ocaml in two ways that are both healthy for the language, in my opinion:  1) word-of-mouth, and 2) being dissatisfied by one's current language and doing research into alternative languages and seeing that it's one of the best designed and engineered out there (I came upon it in the latter way, via the ICFP contest, but people also probably see ocaml's placement on the Great Computer Language Shootout, and other places...I plan on writing a couple articles about it in Game Developer Magazine when I've got more of a clue).  

Three other ways to come into contact with a new language are of more questionable value (again, in my opinion, of course): 3) being forced to learn it at school before you're ready, 4) being told by an employer you have to learn it, and 5) looking on and deciding you need to learn whatever ranks highest in help wanted ads.

I don't consider myself an elitist at all, but I'm kind of liking the small community.  Contrast this list with comp.lang.c++, even in the old old days (Skaller will confirm), and you'll see what I mean.


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