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Date: -- (:)
From: james woodyatt <jhw@w...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] static class member....
[please reply to ocaml_beginners@yahoogroups.com]

On Wednesday, Aug 6, 2003, at 09:12 US/Pacific, on the main Ocaml 
mailing list, brogoff@speakeasy.net wrote:
>
> As a side advice to the OP, it would be worthwhile to avoid the OOP 
> and just
> get used to the ML part of Caml first.

I would strongly second this advice.  When I came to Ocaml from C++, I 
did not heed this advice-- and I wasted a lot of time learning why that 
was a mistake.

In fact, the first piece of advice I would pass along to Java/C++ 
programmers who are new to Ocaml is this:

	+ Don't use classes unless functors and module inclusion fail to
	  satisfy your requirements.

There are many fine ways to obtain the kinds of relationships in the 
Ocaml type system that C++ and Java both only use classes to offer.  In 
Ocaml, the object class and class type semantic is only one of the ways 
to skin a particular kind of cat.  It's not, in fact, the most 
straightforward one either.  Until you understand the tradeoffs for 
choosing it, I recommend avoiding it.  You can do *almost* everything 
with 'functor' and 'include' and/or phantom polymorphic variant type 
parameters on abstract types with parameter variance annotations.

That said, the class and class type semantic is an indispensable aspect 
of the language, from my point of view.  It's just not very easy 
explaining why I say that to a newbie.


-- 
j h woodyatt <jhw@wetware.com>
that's my village calling... no doubt, they want their idiot back.

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