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Which syntax to teach ?
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Date: 2007-10-24 (13:24)
From: Peng Zang <peng.zang@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Which syntax to teach ?
Hash: SHA1

I took this class:

at UIUC and it is what got me into OCaml.  Perhaps the material on the website 
will be of use to you.

It was taught with original syntax so I'm obviously going to be partial 
towards that.  But I actually took a look at Revised syntax and thought it 
was more verbose and slightly confusing at times.  Part of what made OCaml 
attractive for me was its compactness.  Take "[x::[y::[z::t]]]" for example, 
it's quite nasty compared to just "x::y::z::t".  Now when teaching you'll 
probably want to explain how a list is nested Cons cells, and you might even 
show the former as psuedocode to help clarify the point, but then show that 
the latter is the (shorthand) syntax in OCaml and just use that.


On Wednesday 24 October 2007 07:36, David Teller wrote:
>    Hello list,
>  In a few months, I'll start teaching OCaml for the second consecutive
> year. I'll solve a number of my problems by installing Linux on the
> workstations, although I'm pretty sure that will cause no end of
> complaints from the students when they need to continue their work at
> home.
>  Right now, however, that's not the issue. I'm just wondering if I
> should prepare my lectures and exercises using the Original syntax or
> the Revised syntax. The latest looks clearer and possibly easier to
> teach but requires additional command-line arguments to ocamlc and I'm
> not sure I'll be able to find an editor that will display that syntax
> nicely.
>  Any suggestions or experiences ?
> Thanks,
>  David
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