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[Caml-list] RE: [pragprog] Is Caml a fraud ( especially on Windows )?
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Date: 2002-10-18 (11:32)
From: David Wildgoose <dbwildgoose@a...>
Subject: [Caml-list] RE: [pragprog] Is Caml a fraud ( especially on Windows )?
===> See below

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent:	18 October 2002 10:36
> To:
> Cc:;
> Subject:	[pragprog] Is Caml a fraud ( especially on Windows )?
> When I chose to learn OCaml as my "language of the year" it seemed
> like a good choice.
	===> It is.

> I had some basic requirements for a language:
> 1) There be a free ( for noncommercial use ) implementation. ( Having 
>      more people know a language is a plus for that language. I don't
>      think it is appropriate for implementors to ask for money for the
>      right to learn their language. Once you are actually making money
>      using a language is a different thing. )
> 2) The implementation has to produce stand alone applications. (  
>      Scripting  languages are OK. As long as the interpreter is free.
>      ) Part of the processes of learning is to write applications. To 
>      save time I want to write applications that I need around the  
>      house. I use "database of MP3s" as the prototypical application.
> 3) The implementation have a generally complete library. Everything
>      from matrix library to internet libraries.
> 4) The implementation must run on both Linux and Windows. I don't
>      want to have to rewrite applications just because they run on 
>      different platforms. I don't want two different implementations,
>      as often the portability is poor.
> 5) The standalones run fairly efficiently. One thing I want to do ( 
>      my final exam, so to speak ) is use the implementation for ICFP.
>      Usually there is a soft limit on speed of executable. Also many 
>      of the applications I write tend to be CPU intensive.
> 6) A debugger is not required but considered a big plus.
> 7) An emacs mode for the language.
> 8) A good FFI.
	===> Fair enough.

> Caml pretty much seemed to meet all these conditions. Further
> it seemed like a gateway into the world of ( more advanced ) FPLs
> like Haskell, Curry, Clean etc.
	===> More advanced?  In what way?  They follow different paradigms,
e.g. lazy/eager evaluation, but that doesn't necessarily make one more
advanced than another.

> But then I started to do preliminary studies. Since I was busy with
> other things it would be about 2 months before I could start to
> seriously study it. In the mean time I was going to set up the
> programming environments in my spare time.
> The first thing that happened was a comment made in the Caml
> mailing list. The comment basically said that I was making a mistake
> starting with Caml because it was so "special" that I would never go
> onto the next language. I found this to be a terribly worrying
> comment. Especially since it came from one of the OCaml developers.
> Often times when you see proponents say things like this, you soon
> discover the emperor has no clothes. Such statements are often made
> by people who lack diversity of experience in other programming
> languages. 
> This causes a certain sort of tunnel vision in the way they perceive
> things. Tools like debuggers are overestimated in their capabilities.
> Languages features are touted way beyond their benefit. 
	==> Yes, I've seen what you've posted.  Here are some examples:

	"No. I am asking for a sample program. Can't you read, but then from
	the rest of the post I can see that you are not very intelligent."

	"<clipped>A lot of shit about how great functional programming is
	all slogans no substance. </clipped>"

	"Are there any people out there who are not language zealots who
	what they are talking about and understand higher order functions?"


	"Are you realy that stupid?"

	- to which I can only suggest that the person you were insulting
isn't, but you certainly seem to be.  I won't bother commenting on the rest
of your diatribe.
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