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[Caml-list] syntax foo
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Date: 2002-02-06 (17:42)
From: Brian Rogoff <bpr@b...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] syntax foo
On Tue, 5 Feb 2002, [iso-8859-15] Jérôme Marant wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 05, 2002 at 12:48:06PM -0800, james woodyatt wrote:
> > Here's why I don't want to see the Ocaml team make any changes to the
> > syntax: I'm certain they have more important things they could be
> > doing.  Like, for example, support for dynamic loading of native code on
> > Mac OS X.
>   I agree with all what you said. The current syntax is the one that was
>   adopted in the very beginning of Caml. Its syntax is the one which
>   make Caml different from other languages and it has been adopted by
>   people all over the years. Changing it would make the 'OCaml touch'
>   go away.

Wow, I thought I'd stop at one post, but I can't let this one go.

Caml syntax is *not* why people like Caml. I'd go as far as to say that
lots of people adopt it in spite of its flawed (though not awful, like
Perl) syntax. To paraphrase American political soundbites, "It's the
sematics, stupid!". (PS: No, I'm not calling you stupid.)

>   People who want a Haskell-like syntax will have to go for Haskell or

The syntactic differences between Haskell and OCaml are insignificant
beside the semantic ones.

>   So, please stop pestering OCaml authors with syntactic considerations,
>   I have no doubt that there are higher priority improvements.
>   (it's up to them to decide or not on this though).

Priority is certainly subjective, but I agree with Gerard Huet who said
that we're really a long way from being ready with regards to tools
and documentation, and with Benjamin Pierce who says that a syntax change
now would be detrimental to OCaml's growing popularity as it would
make it harder on authors. Sophisticated OCamlists may adopt Revised
syntax now, or as they need it.

-- Brian
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