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Date: 2007-08-05 (16:41)
From: Xavier Leroy <Xavier.Leroy@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Sorted list
> ExtList is underpinned by Obj.magic -


> its "tail recursive" implementations
> work by manipulating the internal representation of a list rather than
> writing "proper" O'Caml (it's a piece of genius and frankly is how the
> StdLib ought to do it...).

I don't think so -- basically, Obj.magic isn't part of the OCaml
language and should not be used unless there is absolutely no other
option.  The Queue module is the standard library uses Obj.magic for
additional performance, but this is really sending the wrong message.
If tail recursion elimination modulo constructors (what Extlib is
doing manually) is really important, I believe it should be done by
the compiler, under the hood.  (That's not trivial, mind you.)

>>Well, Windows is a world apart.  It has no packaging system to speak
>>of, no versioning, no centralised repository, no installation policies
>>of note.  In other words, it's where Linux was circa 1993.
> Spoken by someone who sounds like he hasn't used Windows since 1993? :o)

I reluctantly but regularly use Windows to maintain the Windows port
of OCaml, and agree with Richard Jones's assessment.  Windows is
geared towards the installation of big, standalone programs like
Office or games, but has nothing comparable to the package management
facilities of Linux or BSD.

> My understanding is that in 1993 finding any PC hardware capable of
> running Linux was the amusing game... rose-tinted spectacles,
> perhaps?

Replace "Linux circa 1993" by "Unix variants circa 1993" (SunOS,
Ultrix, etc) if you wish.  But for the record, I was running NetBSD on
a bog-standard 486 PC in 1993, and installed Slackware Linux on the
same PC in 1994.

- Xavier Leroy