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[Caml-list] Is Caml a fraud ( especially on Windows )?
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Date: 2002-10-18 (13:30)
From: Joaquin Cuenca Abela <e98cuenc@y...>
Subject: [Caml-list] Re: "ocaml_beginners"::[] Is Caml a fraud ( especially on Windows )?

--- wrote:
> So when I hear developers saying that their language
> is the best I
> imediately begin to wonder about it's deficiencies
> are.

You will have a hard time looking for a language
developer that don't states that its language is the
best one.

Stroustup prefers C++ to any other language for most
tasks, Ritchie said that if he was only allowed to
keep one language on a desert island, it will be C,

It's not a shock to me to discover that Caml creators
prefer Caml over other languages...

> The second incident involves ocamlc and cameleon.
> Trying to get
> cameleon to compile ( more on that later ), I
> discovered that ocamlc
> called cl.exe ( MS C/C++ compiler ). The reason is
> obvious. ocamlc
> translates ocaml to c and then passes it to the
> compiler.

? From what I know, ocamlc only calls cl.exe to
compile C code.  That's, if you do:

ocamlc test.c

and test.c is a C program, then it will compile it
using (surprise) a C compiler.  That's all.  It
compiles itself Caml code.

> This creates
> two things I have difficulties with:
> 1) There is from the main caml page a link to a page
> where the person
>      claims to have benchmarked C vs caml and caml
> wins. I had several
>      problems with that page, ( The main one, he
> uses goto's to 
>      optimise his code. The problem is that the
> optimiser in a C  
>      compiler has a much harder time with goto's
> present [ they are 
>      nonlocal branches ]. So I have to trust he does
> a better job at 
>      optimisation than the compiler would do. Yeah
> sure. )

performance tests are almost always crap.  Specially
language related ones.  To me the only important thing
is that Caml creates programs that run at an
acceptable speed, that's all.
> 2) After a bit of thought I realised something. If
> the compiler 
>     generates C code which gets compiled, then odds
> are that the
>     debugger is a wrapper of gdb. Big problems on

Dude, you seem to have done a false assumption, and
then you're building a big chain of false deductions
(and at the same time, you're insulting Caml

The debugger is not a wrapper of gdb.  And it's one of
the best debuggers that I've had the pleasure to use.
Some months ago I was doing a little project for the

I first did it in perl, and then I tried to do it in
Caml (I wanted to learn a bit of Caml).  The final
Caml version was half in size than the perl version,
and the debugger has a hell of help when I need it. 
Specially the possibility to *go back* in the program
flow was a life-safer (why this feature does not
appears in big bold letters in the main ocaml page?).

I'm not member of a Caml fan club or something, but
when I'm learning a new language (and I try to do that
as regularly as possible), I always keep in mind two

1) I'm a newbie.  If something is going bad, it's
probably my fault.
2) Don't insult people that try to help.

You're welcome to dislike Caml, but don't flame
others' work in the process.


Joaquin Cuenca Abela

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