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How to do this properly with OCaml?
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Date: 2005-07-27 (21:22)
From: Pal-Kristian Engstad <pal_engstad@n...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] How to do this properly with OCaml?
On Wednesday 27 July 2005 10:21 am, skaller wrote:
> Just an aside-- but this is why
> most games are utter crap. The developers have no idea
> how to develop high level code, so they focus on weenie
> details of graphics, and as a result we have stunning
> high performance motion interfacing to the most banal
> rubbish I have ever seen. As time goes by things just
> seem to get worse.


Skaller, that's one of the most sweeping generalizations I
have ever seen. Exactly what kind of games are you talking
about? The gaming industry is big - I believe the latest 
numbers indicate that we're bigger than the movie industry 
w.r.t to earnings.

I've been looking into O'Caml, and I've written some tools
in it (caml is great for tools), but here's a couple of points 
against it:

1. It doesn't support console platforms.
	- The PC market is quite minor compared to consoles.
2. It doesn't support low-level constructs.
	- No SIMD (AltiVec/VMX) vector operations.
	- No explicit assignment of (bit and byte) offsets 
	  within a record.
	- No explicit alignment specification.
	- No inline assembly.
3. There is no controlled real-time GC. 
	- GC needs to run between frames, 
	  and only for a controlled amount of time.
4. There is no real support for unboxed data-types.
	- This one is actually very important for consoles.

For game-code (AI, behaviors, etc.), it is better suited, 
though the GC issue is there. But it doesn't support much 
of threading - be it through pthreads or cooperatively - 
which renders it unusable to us. 

So in the end, ... ocaml is nice as a tool, but it is by far 
not usable for the game console world. So, I guess we'll stick 
with C++ for a while...


  \`.       Pål-Kristian Engstad, Lead Programmer,
   \ `|     Naughty Dog, Inc., 1601 Cloverfield Blvd, 6000 North,
  __\ |`.   Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA. (310) 633-9112. 
    /  /o   mailto:engstad@naughtydog.com http://www.naughtydog.com
   /  '~    mailto:mrengstad@yahoo.com    http://www.engstad.com
  / ,'      Hang-gliding Rulez!