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Request for comments: Printf list conversion
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Date: 2006-01-12 (17:14)
From: Richard Jones <rich@a...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Request for comments: Printf list conversion
On Thu, Jan 12, 2006 at 09:50:54AM -0600, Bill Wood wrote:
> Just a comment.  I've been anticipating getting into something like this
> since I started considering OCaml as a work-horse language.  I've gone
> through this exercise several times -- When I worked in Prolog, I hacked
> together a list formatter; after using Scheme a while I hacked out a
> list formatter package (and I'm dreading doing it yet again :-).  The
> thing is, it's so terribly useful.
> I'm always inspired in my hacks by Common Lisp's (format...) form, which
> includes a ~{/~} pair containing conversion directives and that consumes
> a list argument.  I don't want to appall you with complexity too soon,
> but when you think about this, consider the possibility that the list is
> a list of lists, each of which contains several items that are to be
> formatted using a a recursively specified (sub) format.  This does
> enhance usability a great deal.  I'm sure that there are people who will
> yelp in protest at this, but I do recommend looking at CL's format as at
> least one point in this design space.

If you just want to dump out data structures (for debugging, for
example) then you might want to take a look at the Std.dump function
in Extlib:


Of course this isn't suitable for end user reports.


Richard Jones, CTO Merjis Ltd.
Merjis - web marketing and technology -
Team Notepad - intranets and extranets for business -