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Re: Why OCaml sucks
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Date: 2008-05-09 (06:31)
From: Tom_Primožič <tom.primozic@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Re: Why OCaml sucks
Great post, Jon!

2008/5/9 Jon Harrop <jon@ffconsultancy.com>:

> I believe these can be fixed by creating a new open source functional
> language
> for Linux based upon LLVM. However, the lack of a suitable GC is a complete
> show stopper. The JVM is the only thing that comes close and it is unable
> to
> support tail calls without a catastrophic performance cost, i.e. so bad
> that
> you might as well write an interpreter.

I completely agree with you! I had this idea a long time ago, but I was put
off by the enormous code-base one would have to write to make even a simple
usable implementation. However, if there was a team gathered that would
create, let's say, a "next generation ML" on top of LLVM, count me in.
As far as multithreading is concerned, I've gathered some interesting
ideas... Primarily, soft threads are a great thing to have, and we would
have to look no further than our collegue's Felix language implementation,
which supports amaizingly fast green-threads. For the GC, we can turn to our
"father", Xavier Leroy, and his paper about the parallel GC for OCaml Light
[1]. I'm sure that from the time that paper was written, there has been some
improvements and new ideas for GC for multithreading, so by doing enough
research and combining the best ideas, we could easily pull it off.
A great thing would be to support "pluggable GC", i.e. that the programmer
would have the option to select the GC that best sits his program (for
example, Metronome-like GC [2] for real-time programs).

[1] http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/doligez93concurrent.html
[2] http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/bacon03metronome.html

My $100, Tom