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Date: -- (:)
From: Brian Hurt <brian.hurt@q...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] OCaml popularity
On Wed, 12 Mar 2003, Michael Schuerig wrote:

> On Wednesday 12 March 2003 19:08, Alwyn Goodloe wrote:
> >  I agree. This is really the difference between what most people do
> > in industry and what we do in academia. People out there just don't
> > care about how well you can build an automated theorem prover if they
> > can't draw their GUI screens and access their Oracle data bases.
> 
> Is software development in industry only about GUI screens, web pages 
> and database access? Well, from my own experience, I fear the answer is 
> mostly yes. 

Comming from the industry- mostly, yes.  Completely, no.

> That being as it is, would things in industry be that much 
> better if OCaml had everything it takes for writing enterprise 
> applications? Could OCaml in this area bring such a big improvement 
> over, say, Java and J2EE? Or are there other -- niche? -- areas where 
> the advantages OCaml provides are far more important?
> 

I could easily see an Ocaml J2EE.  If you read the vapor in the right way, 
.NET could be considered a language-agnostic J2EE (that already has it's 
own Ocaml-variant in F#).  Having had some experience with Microsoft, 
Microsoft's products, and Microsoft's history of product announcements, 
I'd recommend a wait and see approach.  However, the concept is doable in 
theory.

It's hard to estimate how ignorant the "bottom of the barrel" programmers 
are.  My father was teaching a class recently, attempting to teach OO 
programming to a bunch of Cobol programmers in Visual Basic (that last 
wasn't mentioned until after he had signed on).  He was a more than a 
little surprised when programmers with decades of 'experience' didn't know 
what a for loop was.  Twenty years in the industry, and they'd never had 
to use one.

Of course, this also raises the question of what a programmer is.  I have
a friend who considers herself a technical writer/buisness analyst.  For
one reason or another, she does an awful lot of Visual Basic scripting.  
She doesn't use for loops either- on the other hand, she also doesn't
consider herself a programmer, let alone an experienced senior software
engineer.

Brian


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