Version française
Home     About     Download     Resources     Contact us    

This site is updated infrequently. For up-to-date information, please visit the new OCaml website at

Browse thread
Which syntax to teach ?
[ Home ] [ Index: by date | by threads ]
[ Search: ]

[ Message by date: previous | next ] [ Message in thread: previous | next ] [ Thread: previous | next ]
Date: 2007-10-26 (07:02)
From: Adrien <camaradetux@g...>
Subject: Re : [Caml-list] Which syntax to teach ?
2007/10/25, Richard Jones <>:
> On Thu, Oct 25, 2007 at 07:59:12AM -0500, Michael Ekstrand wrote:
> > On Thu, 25 Oct 2007 10:49:23 +0100
> > Richard Jones <> wrote:
> > > Give them a bootable live CD with all the tools pre-installed and
> > > pre-configured:
> > >
> > >
> >
> > Then they have to reboot, and not necessarily have access to their
> > files and Web bookmarks and such.
> >
> > To throw another suggestion in the pot... VMware Player is free
> > (gratis), as is VirtualBox and some others.  If you give them a VMware
> > image, then they can run that alongside the rest of their stuff, on
> > either Windows or Linux (or perhaps Intel Mac, not quite as sure on
> > that one).
> Or qemu, which is not just free but Free.
> ``qemu -m 512 -cdrom ocaml-one-oh-one.iso -boot d'' or the equivalent
> clicky-pointy thing for windows users.

Having used qemu a few years ago under windows I have to say it is not
the most handy solution.
I strongly advise VirtualBox, especially against VMWare. It is faster
in all kind of applications (CPU and memory intensive operations such
as 7-zip are less than 10% slower !). It is much smaller, muuuuch
(installer is 10MB, vmware's one is ten times bigger). It is more free
(btw a big part of wirtualbox is gpl'd). Last it is a *lot* easier to

2007/10/25, Aleks Bromfield <>:
> For the past two years, Brown has used an environment called DrOCaml,
> built on top of DrScheme. It's perfect for our needs -- we use Scheme
> for the first half of our intro course, and OCaml for the second, so
> this saves students from having to learn a new environment halfway
> through the semester. (Of course, they have to learn a new syntax
> halfway through the semester, but that's another story...)
> You can install DrOCaml by first installing DrScheme, and then
> installing the PLT file at the URL:
> If you do try this out and you experience any problems, let me know
> and I'll try to fix them as soon as I get a chance.

Thanks for the information. I'll try it this weekend. :)

As for the LiveCDs, I did not want to give any opinion but slax and
slax-like (i.e. using scripts) are the best from far.
I've tested a lot of them and can give some quick results.
First Ubuntu is horrible : it wouldn't start correctly ; on its time
ubuntu5 did not handle a dell inspiron 8200 which is well-spread model
with good support on linux nor did it handle a pentium4 desktop also
from dell; now the last ubuntu6 doesn't start or halt correctly with a
desktop dell P4 with 512MB and a radeon x600, an asus A6T (laptop,
turion64X2, geforce 7600Go), with a home-built A643200+, geforce
7600gt, or with a dell pentium4d, raid0, radeon X300. It also has
troubles with the majority of my hardware.
(and this hardware is very well recognized on slackware, opensuse, dsl
[2.4 kernels], self-compiled stripped kernels, ...)
It is also really slow (three last computers all have 2GB memory).

Next, gentoo or red hat livecds are better but still too big. Of
course they have everything but that's the problem. You don't want
20MB of wallpapers on a livecd and don't want an haskell compiler or
gcj either when you're doing ocaml.

As for juppix it weighs 700MB (it contains a java sdk...).

Linux-live scripts on the other hand makes people create slick
systems. I use slackware and the systems I create for livecds are less
than 600MB on disk.
Then you have lzma compression which saves a lot of space which means
less date to read from the cd and which is nearly instant to
The approach also uses modules. This way it is possible to load things
on-demand and save memory (today I killed linux on a livecd because I
did not have enough memory)

Sorry for the rant I just don't understand how it is possible to still
create and use mastodon such as knoppixes* when there are better
* it's great but has more things on it than a default opensuse installation...

@Dirk Thierbach, thanks a lot.
Actually I had to use emacs today because I forgot my laptop and your
answer has helped me. =P