Version française
Home     About     Download     Resources     Contact us    

This site is updated infrequently. For up-to-date information, please visit the new OCaml website at

Browse thread
MinCaml: an educational compiler for tiny ML subset (documented in Japanese)
[ Home ] [ Index: by date | by threads ]
[ Search: ]

[ Message by date: previous | next ] [ Message in thread: previous | next ] [ Thread: previous | next ]
Date: 2005-03-08 (04:11)
From: Jon Harrop <jon@j...>
Subject: Re: MinCaml English Documentation
On Tuesday 08 March 2005 03:01, Eijiro Sumii wrote:
> I've uploaded a (rather quick) translation of my MinCaml compiler
> tutorial:

Fantastic, thank you!

> From: "Jon Harrop" <>
> I'm not sure if MinCaml by itself can make any money:-) but I've
> always been wondering if it is possible to sell the "programming
> language processing technology" (which is the killer application of
> ML).  I heard Galois Connection has been doing something like that by
> using Haskell, focusing on security in particular.

I think companies would be willing to spend a bit of money (~1000UKP) to buy a 
working shell of a compiler so that they could develop it however they 
wanted. If our company could afford a copy (and it was more complete) then we 
would use it to develop a custom language for graphics programming. An 
interpreter might also be commercially viable.

> Actually, I feel a little reluctant to use byte code in the back end,
> because (for the original educational purpose) it hides some important
> details - such as garbage collection!

Yes, ideally you want an elegant demo GC. But isn't having a hidden GC 
preferable to having no GC? Using an existing byte-code is probably also the 
most preferable way to make your compiler cross-platform, short of writing 
multiple assembler back-ends. Another option is C-- or maybe Java bytecode. 
From what I hear, C-- is stable enough now.

You could always write a demo OCaml-compatible GC in OCaml for educational 
purposes. Then people could use whichever GC they wanted.

> On the other hand, if 
> supporting (not teaching) GC is important, I believe Boem's GC does a
> good job even though it is conservative.

IMHO, Boem's GC would put people off. As OCaml's GC is already available, 
efficient and non-conservative, I'd go for that.

Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd.
Objective CAML for Scientists