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Re: [Caml-list] Unix.file_descr -> int ???
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Date: -- (:)
From: Xavier Leroy <xavier.leroy@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Unix.file_descr -> int ???
> Oh, it was definitely meant to be public. It was astonishing 
> for me to hear an ex-IBM researcher, a man on science, one 
> would imagine, say that his customers are not interested in 
> any new or advanced stuff. And I'm pretty sure he knows what 
> he's talking about.

What's so surprising about this?  This man chose a particular line of
business where customers are not interested in new or advanced stuff.
Just like you could choose to manage a McDonald's and have no
professional interest in gourmet food or fine wines.

I'm not disturbed in the least by the fact that many computer
professionals couldn't care less about what we do.  (And conversely :-)
What I am concerned about is the well-meaning suggestions that we
should move towards "their" technologies in the vague hope that they
will pay more attention then.  They won't.

> They want *real_world* products on
> *real_world* platforms: COBOL and .NET, that's what they want."
> No comment. But if Ocaml could somehow "run on .NET", people
> like the above CEO (an ex-mathematician and IBM researcher,
> by the way) would be a whole lot more interested in Ocaml.

Again, I think this is a fallacy.  By the same logic:

"if OCaml could somehow 'look like COBOL', people like the above CEO 
 would be a lot more interested in OCaml".

"if Bordeaux red wines were carbonated, McDonald's would be a lot more
 interested in selling them".

You can make your own parallels: it's fun :-)

> Xavier, let me ask a dumb question, if you don't mind: how 
> do you choose which processor architectures to port ocamlopt 
> to?

By a combination of demand and availability (of a machine running said
architecture).

> Could .NET simply be regarded as a new "architecture" for ocamlopt?

Not at all.  .NET isn't just a (virtual) machine instruction set: it's
a whole infrastructure, including memory management, data
representation formats, systems services, libraries, etc.  All these
replace (and conflict with) those we have in the OCaml implementation.

Our past experiments in retargeting the OCaml implementation to .Net
failed because of this.  For more details, and an explanation of why
.Net is a real straight-jacket for innovative programming languages,
see a previous post of mine:
        http://caml.inria.fr/archives/200102/msg00190.html

- Xavier Leroy
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