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[Caml-list] OCaml popularity
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Date: 2003-03-10 (23:48)
From: Gerd Stolpmann <info@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] OCaml popularity
Am Fre, 2003-03-07 um 00.27 schrieb Graham Guttocks:
> Greetings,
> I discovered OCaml on Doug Bagley's computer shootout page where he
> gives it a rave review over all the other languages he evaluated.
> After looking into it further, I'm just surprised that OCaml isn't
> more popular.  It seems to have all the rapid development features of
> a scripting language like Python, but unlike scripting languages
> offers fast native code like a compiled language.  Seemingly the best
> of both worlds.
> Any ideas why OCaml isn't more well known?  Is it just because the
> language is not as old as something like Python, or perhaps because
> the syntax is more difficult to learn?

I suppose it has to do with the label "functional language", and
these languages are often seen as toys of academic people. I.e. nothing
for the real programmer. Not really sexy.

(Don't try to explain your colleagues the lambda calculus, and that
O'Caml is just an instance of it. This is the wrong way. You get answers
like that the lambda calculus is THE thing they have never understood at
university. There is a learning barrier.)

Of course, this is not true. O'Caml is also an unorthodox imperative
language, and it is attractive enough for some adventures at night
(don't take this too seriously).

I don't think it is the syntax. People are programming in C, with a
really strange syntax, and they take the C syntax as a natural way to
express algorithms. I hear only few complaints about that, so I think
most people just take syntax as it is.

Gerd Stolpmann * Viktoriastr. 45 * 64293 Darmstadt * Germany 
gerd@gerd-stolpmann.de          http://www.gerd-stolpmann.de

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