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How to do this properly with OCaml?
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Date: -- (:)
From: skaller <skaller@u...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] How to do this properly with OCaml?
On Wed, 2005-07-27 at 08:35 -0700, David Thomas wrote:
> I'm still curious what numerical algorithm is so
> desperately in need of variable length arrays...

I think I was not clear. Normally Ocaml boxes
contain either an int or a heap pointer
to a data object. So a floating point value
is represented by a pointer.

Doing numerical programming with an array
of pointers to floats instead of an
array of floats has a performance impact,
so Ocaml now provides arrays of unboxed floats.

I wasn't referring to the need for variable length arrays
in numerical code, but the need to circumvent boxing
in numerical code for arrays of numerical values:
this is considered significant enough to warrant
specialised compiler optimisations and data structures.

The point being, arrays of boxes are considered inefficient,
and in some cases it is already considered significant
enough for considerable work to be done to fix it.

So arguing an extra indirection required for the
array of option solution to variable length arrays
is insignificant is contrary to the evidence that
INRIA already accepts it can be inefficient.

Again, this is not to say variable length arrays
without this extra overhead should be provided,
just that the argument that the overhead is not
significant is suspect.

-- 
John Skaller <skaller at users dot sourceforge dot net>