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RE: [Caml-list] Is Caml a fraud ( especially on Windows )? No.
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Date: 2002-10-18 (17:27)
From: Beck01, Wolfgang <BeckW@t...>
Subject: RE: [Caml-list] Is Caml a fraud ( especially on Windows )? No.

Pierre Weis wrote:
> So, let me first recall here what was my message:
>      I must warn you that Caml is a bit special: it is known as extremely
>      addictive. Many people that learnt it seriously, just don't want to
>      give it up and go back to real programming with *p++ or
>      null pointers ...
>      You have to consider that before trying Caml: it could very well be
>      your last attempt to learn a new language.
>      A better (and more cautious) approach would be to try all other
>      languages first (it ensures that the process will long for years) and
>      at the end, last but not least, try Caml :)
>      All the best for trying to learn Caml!
I am a 'victim' of OCaml's addictiveness, but I agree with in some points. The syntax is bit uncommon,
but my main problem were the compiler error messages in the 3.02 version.
Automatic type derivation is a concept that requires some acclimatisation.
The debugger keeps telling me that there is no code where I want to set a
breakpoint. As I am used to the 'printf debugging style, this is no real
problem for me.

However, after having mastered these obstacles, I use OCaml wherever
possible. A SIP (IP telephony) client written in OCaml processes real-time
audio without a problem and a OCaml SIP call generator outperforms some
commercial tools. A code size comparison between my SIP parser (~5000 lines OCaml)
and the corresponding parts of the free Vovida stack (~50 000 lines C++)
speaks for itself.

Some promlems remain: If I need co-workers in a project, teaching them OCaml
would take too much time. It's not just teaching OCaml but teaching the
functional paradigma as well.
In a small commercial project, licensing was an issue. But yes, I've earned
my department money in a project using OCaml. 

No, OCaml is not a fraud.

Wolfgang Beck
T-Systems GmbH
64295 Darmstadt
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