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[Caml-list] OCaml popularity
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Date: 2003-03-11 (01:44)
From: Nicolas Cannasse <warplayer@f...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] OCaml popularity
> 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?

There is few beginnings of answers two your question :
- some people are telling that you need a PhD to fully understand (and
appreciate) OCaml . That's somehow exagerate, but not so much, since you
need to know at least several programming languages to really understand how
Ocaml is great compared to them :)
- about the syntax, I had some experience of teaching Ocaml to some people,
plus my own Ocaml-learning experience. The current syntax take some time to
get, but is quite good and brief once you got it. But you have to really
understand the underlying typing algorithm when you got a type error. I
think this is perhaps the biggest problem with OCaml syntax right now :
while C/Java will tell you " missing ';' " , Ocaml will simply said " Syntax
Error ". The same goes for typing. Just make write few lines to a beginner,
he will hit into something like " this expression has type unit -> string
but is here used with 'a -> unit" ( quite an obvious error message for
people here, but perhaps a little bit difficult to get when you don't know
the language )

Nicolas Cannasse

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