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[Caml-list] Map efficiency?
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Date: 2003-11-07 (14:02)
From: Michael Hicks <mwh@c...>
Subject: Re: Why are functors better? (Re: [Caml-list] Map efficiency?)
Benjamin Pierce did a nice talk at ICFP a couple of years ago about
sophisticated module systems, examining where (or if) they are really
needed.  The slides are at


This is not exactly on target for your point about ease-of-use, but it's

On Fri, 2003-11-07 at 06:39, Yaron M. Minsky wrote:
> On Fri, 2003-11-07 at 03:27, Jean-Christophe Filliatre wrote:
> > [ Some discussion of methods for building maps without functors ]
> >
> > (But the functorial interface is definitely the best, of course.)
> I don't understand this perspective at all.  Functors seem like a fairly
> problematic corner of the language.  In this case, except for some
> possible efficiency issues, it seems clear that a non-functorial map is
> preferable, for simplicity and ease-of-use issues, and performance
> aside, I can't see much to recommend the current functorial approach.
> Functors would be a lot more useful if they could be used as a
> large-scale structural tool.  Sadly, the current implementation makes
> this quite difficult, since there's no good way of parameterizing
> multiple modules at once (as noted in a previous thread.  See
> http://groups.google.com/groups?q=group%3Afa.caml+functors+yminsky&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search
> for details.)  For most situations where you'd really need them, they're
> not powerful enough.  And for the situations where they're powerful
> enough, they're usually overkill.  Map and Set are examples where they
> almost strictly get in the way.
> y
Michael Hicks <mwh@cs.umd.edu>

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