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[Caml-list] OCaml popularity
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Date: 2003-03-12 (02:33)
From: Nicolas Cannasse <warplayer@f...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] OCaml popularity
> One other unrelated observation on language acceptance:
> In the the industry, they accept new languages as their IDE become
> usable. Somehow, a solid IDE has become the sign that the language
> matured and is now stable enough for industrial usage. Also, by their
> own account, industrial coders spent so much time in VC++, they are now
> IDE-dependent. IDE in this context means one-key compilation, hypertext
> jumps between name usages and definitions, and a tree overview of the
> components of the project, context sensitive work completion and context
> sensitive help, etc. Ocaml would gain at having an official IDE project
> which implement these features.

You're raising here a remanent subject :)

This had been in my mind (and also in the mind of several other people of
this list I think) since I started with OCaml. Right now, as one of the few
ocaml-windows developpers, I'm editing and compiling Ocaml under Visual
Studio 6. The language is not fully integrated since VC6 does not enable it
( while .Net can do it, but is far more expensive and more difficult to
deploy for a single basic user ). There is the workspace, syntax
highlightning, automatic compilation, one-key compilation start and
compilation-error-jump-to-file+line. So it is right now quite convenient to
work with.

An IDE will require a far more level of integration such as the possibility
to "debug" types visualy when having an error ( e.g. just put your mouse /
cursor on a variable to see its type ) , perhaps an integrated debugger ,
and of course a multiplatform (unix+windows) GUI since doing it from
unix-only won't help people from the industry and doing it for windows only
won't help the large part of the ocaml community.

The problem here is that such kind of editor is more or less a personnal
choice, and if you want the current OCaml+Emacs users to switch to such an
IDE, you'll have to make it fully customizable and add key features that
will make the difference. Quite a challenge.

Nicolas Cannasse

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