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[Caml-list] OCaml popularity
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Date: 2003-03-13 (20:50)
From: William Lovas <wlovas@s...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] OCaml popularity
On Thu, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:52:32AM +0100, Oliver Bandel wrote:
> I/O is on page 76, where imperative programming
> is explained.
> When looking into K&R's C book, it's in the first chapter
> on the first page to create a feedback from the machine
> with the well-known "hello world"-example...

Well, since C lacks a top-level read-eval-print loop, being able to
do I/O is crucially important early on.  Less so with O'Caml -- one
can get right into the interesting bits of the programming language
without having to know a wink of I/O.  The necessary evils like I/O
can wait 'til a little bit later... like Chapter 3 :)

Plus, the top-level loop approach introduces a number of important
concepts early on, like expressions, values, and types.

> When you have a functional language and say: Yes, functional
> programming is so genious, but get the I/O not before
> the chapter about imperative programming, then it looks
> not very honestly...
> But adding the FP-features as a "what other languages have not"
> (or not so clear) later, this might (not proven it;-)) be
> a beter approach in making the language interesting.

You're basic objection here is that O'Caml is not being taught in the
same way that other programming languages have been taught in the past.
Should it be?  Maybe O'Caml is different enough from other programming
languages that it should be *taught* differently.

I suppose it's arguable, though, that O'Caml might be more popular if
its teaching style catered more to peoples' expectations.


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