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[Caml-list] Easy solution in OCaml?
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Date: 2003-04-25 (07:16)
From: Siegfried Gonzi <siegfried.gonzi@s...>
Subject: [Caml-list] Easy solution in OCaml?

First off: It is not homework. I am 29 and writing my PhD in physics. 
Often I am contemplating whether it would be possible to use OCaml in 
combination with my beloved Bigloo to perform statistical evaluations. I 
am not sure whether there are any out there who /can/ do this 
evaluations with OCaml what you normally would do with Matlab. The 
problem what arises: type system and working against the compiler. In 
Scheme changing a solution from lets say integer-array to double-array 
is easy, but in Clean for example you would have to change all your 
I often skim over the libraries and came to the conclusion: C, C++, 
OCaml impossible for me to see any elegance; Clean a bit better; 
Bigloo/Scheme: I am not sure here, because everything looks the same 
maybe this is cheating, but I think it looks the most elegant and less 
intimitating from all.

Rationale: given a list of 12 month.  I would like to calculate the 
quarterly means and skip any nan. Easy? Yes it is but only on paper and 
in Scheme:

e.g: [1,2,4,-1,45,56,45,56,8]


result: [(1+2+3)/3, (45+56)/2, (45+56+8)/3]

I wrote a program in Scheme in order to perform the aformentioned task. 
In Scheme I wrote it as functional as possible, but I fail to do this in 
Ocaml. I mean doing it in OCaml via loops would be straightforward, but 
I didn't succeed in coming up with a solution of:

- relies on pattern matching?
- is short and and shouldn't resemble imperative style

Currently I do not have Clean installed, but I think I would have no 
problems to do the above requirement in Clean. I find the following 
irritating in OCaml:

- why if-then constructs? I think this was called "guards" in Clean? Can 
I use block-structure instead? I hate blocks ala Python but never mind 
to use it in Clean's way.
- why begin-end constructs? In Scheme begin-end constructs are ordinary, 
but I find it irritating to use it in OCaml.
- is it possible to give type information for readbility. In Clean I 
often wroten upon entry of the function:

sum:: Int Real -> Int
sum a b = ...

The above is not provocating. I learn best when I see how other would 
solve it in an /elegant functional way/.

S. Gonzi

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