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MinCaml: an educational compiler for tiny ML subset (documented in Japanese)
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Date: 2005-03-07 (00:19)
From: Jon Harrop <jon@j...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] MinCaml: an educational compiler for tiny ML subset (documented in Japanese)
On Saturday 05 March 2005 14:37, Eijiro Sumii wrote:
> From: "Jon Harrop" <>
> > Did you choose SPARC because of availability or for technical reasons?
> Both - Sun is still strong in universities around me and IA-32 is a
> mess (for me, at least) compared to RISC...

Yes indeed! :-)

Are you interested in commercialising this project? I think that many 
companies would be interested in a mini compiler which they could customise 
themselves, e.g. to create JIT compilers, or to have a decent embedded 

Obviously this would require more work but I do not believe it would take 
someone (suitably talented, such as yourself) very long.

> > What features of ML are implemented?
> Only a _very_ tiny subset: for now, it does not have polymorphism,
> data types, modules, nor garbage collection (so I shouldn't even call
> it ML, except that the syntax is a subset of OCaml).  However, it
> _does_ have type inference,

I'd prioritise data types next, and pattern matching (of course) if that is 
not implemented already.

> higher-order functions, floating-point 
> numbers, tuples, and arrays with destructive update - which are
> sufficient for minimal examples (such as gcd, ack, matrix, etc.)  and
> one application (raytracing).


> The subset is so tiny because MinCaml was developed for an
> undergraduate course, where I put most energy to the ease of
> understanding and couldn't include many features.  However, adding
> them would be a nice project for more advanced students.

Might I suggest an OCaml byte-code back end? Then you could "borrow" the OCaml 

> By the way, for the majority of people who do not speak Japanese:-), I
> am preparing an Enlish documentation.

Marvellous, thank you. :-)

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