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Date: -- (:)
From: John Goerzen <jgoerzen@c...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Re: (GC issues) Alternative Bytecodes for OCaml
On Sat, Aug 28, 2004 at 10:04:48PM -0700, Brandon J. Van Every wrote:
> Some would.  Perhaps those who are already converted on the grounds of
> type safety or features or so forth.  Those of us shopping around for
> various kinds of 'replacement languages' would be using Python.  That
> is, if OCaml were indeed that slow and no other OCaml-like options were
> available in open source land.  Without performance, I think Python's
> critical mass and ease of use will easily beat OCaml in the marketplace.

Frankly, there is more to a language than who wins in the "marketplace".
If that is all that matters, we should all just go home now, because
VB, Java, C++, and C# have far more share of the marketplace than Python.

Incidentally, I'm a long-time Python user.  I still use it.  I am moving
towards OCaml, though, and not because of performance.  I'm going to
OCaml because it provides the benefits of a strongly-typed language
without sacrificing the flexibility I love in Python.  In some ways,
thanks to things like camlp4, OCaml is more flexible.  OCaml also is
functional at its heart, something I like.  While Python keeps wishing
it's a functional language, OCaml *is*.

> The promise of OCaml is really performance and scale-up, areas that
> Python is weak at.

I'd say Python is far better at the latter than some others, such as
Perl.  But yes, OCaml beats it at both.

> You can argue all you like about what OCaml does that Python doesn't do;
> strategically, it is irrelevant.  Look at the languages the world
> actually uses en masse, if you want to understand what I mean.  The
> point is that performance does matter.

*cough* Java?  VB?  I think that goes a long way to showing that
performance is not as critical to some as you may think.

I've never said that performance matters to nobody.  I'm just saying
that there are lots of people, myself included, that don't care about it
very much.

> Not really interested in debating this here, just adding my $0.02.  If
> you want to debate what makes languages succeed or fail, we'd welcome
> your input on ocaml-biz.

I've had this argument with you before on freeciv-dev, and want to just
reiterate this here: in my book, a language doesn't succeed or fail
based on how well it does in "the marketplace".  If we went by that,
we'd conclude that Linux is a failure, Ada is a failure, Prolog, Lisp,
OCaml, Python, Perl, and perhaps C are all failures too.

Yet a strong case could be made for each of those that they're a
success.

Let's keep things in perspective, please.

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