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Which syntax to teach ?
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Date: -- (:)
From: Loup Vaillant <loup.vaillant@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Which syntax to teach ?
2007/10/24, David Teller <>:
>    Hello list,
> [...] but requires additional command-line arguments to ocamlc

Why not just set up an alias or a little script (and an appropriate
custom toplevel)? That would ease the first lessons. For those who
want to work at home, just tell them the magic formulae. Explanations
can come later.

> not sure I'll be able to find an editor that will display that syntax
> nicely.

The Tuareg mode in emacs colours the revised syntax well. I just don't
know   how to make the embedded toplevel work properly (a trailing
";;;" problem). Maybe someone knows how to tweak it?

>  Any suggestions or experiences ?

A few. But beware: The following is a student's point of view. I don't
know how to teach. I never did.

I first learnt Caml light on its toplevel. While it is a huge helper
for learning, I wasn't told about the compiler. Therefore, I thought
the "Caml system" was closed, and useless as such.

I took two beginner courses in Caml. The first emphasised syntax
first, and the second emphasised semantics first (and actually used
very few syntactic constructs). The latter was faster and more

Some students need a computer at the very first lesson (my brother is
one of them). I hope you can afford it.

The word "powerful" have a semantic load that scares students.
Sentences like "It is easy to do plenty of stuff with little code"

My two cents.
Loup Vaillant