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[Caml-list] Understanding why Ocaml doesn't support operator overloading.
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Date: -- (:)
From: Pierre Weis <pierre.weis@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Understanding why Ocaml doesn't support operator overloading.
> On Fri, Nov 29, 2002 at 04:52:03PM -0000, Nicolas Cannasse wrote:
> > Of course the ML type system relies on type inference and need do choose the
> > "best available" type but what if we enrich the type system with an "OR"
> > operator ? Then if (+) is overloaded on floats, you'll get :
> > 
> > f :  int -> int OR float -> float
> > or something like a type constraint :   f : 'a -> 'a where 'a in [int;float]
> > 
> > This approach seems trivial to me, but I really can understand that this
> > require a lot of addins in the typing algorithms & theory. BTW, does one of
> > the upper approach has already been discussed ? any paper on it ? any
> > countersample that will make me feel stupid ? :)
> 
> The problem is what *assembly code* should be generated for function f?
> Code to add 2 integers or code to add 2 floats? Hmm.. we'll have a
> problem then. Or maybe both? And choose versions of f based on type it
> is applied to? But then consider:
> 
> let f x1 x2 ... xn = ((x1 + x1), (x2 + x2), ..., (xn + xn))
> 
> you need to generate 2^n versions of f. We're getting to ugly things
> like C++ templates here.
> 
> There is third answer: generate code that checks if it's passed int or
> float. But this has very significant perfomance impact.
> 
> -- 
> : Michal Moskal ::::: malekith/at/pld-linux.org :  GCS {C,UL}++++$ a? !tv
> : PLD Linux ::::::: Wroclaw University, CS Dept :  {E-,w}-- {b++,e}>+++ h
> -------------------

There a fourth answer, more efficient than those approches, that we
call generic flows. See Jun's thesis for more detailed explanation...

Hope this helps,

Pierre Weis

INRIA, Projet Cristal, Pierre.Weis@inria.fr, http://pauillac.inria.fr/~weis/


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