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[Caml-list] Caml productivity.
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Date: 2002-07-29 (15:49)
From: Michael Vanier <mvanier@c...>
Subject: Re: Games (Re: [Caml-list] Caml productivity.)

> From: "Jonathan Coupe" <>
> Date: Sun, 28 Jul 2002 14:45:50 +0100
> > If you're talking about professional quality games using caml as the main
> > language (as opposed to as a scripting language), it's not really an
> option
> > on this generation of consoles.  Memory in a commercial console game is
> > tightly managed, and caml doesn't give much control over memory management
> > at all.
> Even on a PC, I would have thought that the GC might need some re-writing? I
> haven't seen any suggestion in the docs that it's compatible with realtime
> requirements, ie preventing long periods of garbage collection. That said,
> people ship games with bigger bugs.
> The main thing I've taken from OCaml is using a mixed object/functional
> style with C++ in games. This works well enough so that we'll probably spend
> some money later this year using OpenC++ (an advanced preprocessor developed
> at Xerox) to add closures on top of the C++ compilers we use.
> Finally, although it is a fine language I don't think that OCaml supports
> the right feature mix for game programming. The combination of a more
> sophisticated ObjectiveC language (reflection for modules on top of a C
> style base language, but with Smalltalk debugger and workspace, and C's
> syntactical faults removed), an object library like Unrealscript's and
> reasonable support for FP would seem optimum. I'd insist that it be easier
> to parse than C++, even at the cost of removing a lot of syntactical sugar -
> that way I might actually get a compiler that matches the language spec,
> which still hasn't happened with C++.
> - Jonathan Coupe

Well, why not write that language in ocaml yourself?  Whatever else you can
say about ocaml, it is a superb language for writing other languages in.
Jason Hickey's group here at Caltech use ocaml to write all their compilers
(actually one big compiler with multiple front ends for different
languages).  I know this is a lot of work, but I'm not being totally
tongue-in-cheek here.

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