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Date: -- (:)
From: Jon Harrop <jdh30@c...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Dynamically evaluating OCaml code
On Thursday 08 April 2004 3:56 pm, Markus Mottl wrote:
> On Thu, 08 Apr 2004, John Goerzen wrote:
> > Similar complaints exist for working with subsets of lists; it's really
> > too hard to say "replace elements 4 through 9 with this", "delete
> > elements 4 through 9", "return elements 4 through 9", etc.
>
> Yes, it's hard to do this with the current standard library.  The question
> is: who needs these functions anyway?  I can't remember ever having felt
> a need for them.

I could do with them! There are numerous such functions (and nice 
implementations, like "List.nth -1 l" fetching the last element, more 
powerful flatten etc.) which Mathematica has and which I miss.

> > (While we're at it, I think it's silly that there is a list and an
> > array type).
>
> I beg your pardon - what else do you have in mind???

Yes, what the hell are you talking about? ;-)

> > This library problem hurts productivity, and in some cases makes OCaml
> > less productive than even C.
>
> Things are not half as bad as you describe them here.  There may be
> cases where C is more productive - because you happen to have a library
> function for the problem.  But even in this case you can just interface
> to C, which is really not that difficult.

I wouldn't describe using multiple languages, multiple compilers, adding new 
source files, object files and writing code to transform ocaml's internal 
representations into those necessary for the language and back again as 
"really not that difficult". Quite the contrary, in fact, I have found it to 
be "quite difficult". I certainly wouldn't expect Jo User, whilst evaluating 
ocaml as yet another new language, to have to implement safe interfaces to 
common functions found in a language he/she already knows just to get a 
working program.

> There are surely cases where the OCaml standard library lacks generally
> useful functionality, but it's usually good enough for most problems.

Yes, it is currently sufficeable.

Cheers,
Jon.

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