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Re: [Caml-list] poll - need for a good introductory OCaml book (LONG)
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Date: 2003-03-14 (11:14)
From: Sergey Goldgaber <sgoldgaber@y...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] poll - need for a good introductory OCaml book (LONG)
--- Noel Welsh <noelwelsh@yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- Sergey Goldgaber <sgoldgaber@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > How would you say it compares to the SICP?
> SICP is an excellent book that touches on just about
> every field of computer science and I also highly
> recommend it, but it isn't the best way to learn
> programming.  The PLT folk have written their own
> critique of SICP
> which gives some of the background to their own work
> with How to Design Programs.

Thanks again.  I am downloading it now.

> I agree that these are both good practical books. 
> Neither SICP or HtDP have the same aim so it would be
> wrong to compare them.  If you after "The O'Caml
> Cookbook" neither SICP or HtDP will get you any
> further along that goal.

No, no.  That was really a tangent.  It would _also_ be
great to have an OCaml cookbook.  But, really, learning
how to program OCaml well is of primary concern.

> On the other hand, if you
> want to think more in a functional style they help.

Excellent.  That is what I'm after.

> > But the downside is that they use Lisp,
> > and that means that I have to learn yet another
> > language. 
> The Scheme dialect actually, but anyway...

Sorry I was under the mistaken impression that the first edition
of the book used plain old Lisp, with only later editions using

> I think its well worth learning Scheme.  In many ways O'Caml
> is a statically Scheme, with somewhat different
> syntax.

Yes, I have heard great things about both Lisp and Scheme.
And I would love to learn them, along with Haskell, Erlang,
and Prolog (which I have also heard great things about).
But there are only so many hours in the day.  And right now
my focus is on OCaml.  If I absolutely have to learn another
language in order to master the functional style then I will,
but I would much rather were I able to kill two birds with one
stone and master the functional style just with OCaml, and move
on to other languages at my leisure.

Thank you for your help and recommendations,


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