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
Re: [Caml-list] The new OCaml book (Objective Caml Programming Language by Tim Rentsch)
[ Home ] [ Index: by date | by threads ]
[ Search: ]

[ Message by date: previous | next ] [ Message in thread: previous | next ] [ Thread: previous | next ]
Date: 2009-02-28 (17:17)
From: Tim Rentsch <txr@a...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] The new OCaml book (Objective Caml Programming Language by Tim Rentsch)
Caml-list readers,

The quoted remarks appended below, sent out to Caml-list yesterday,
have just come to my attention.  I'm not sure what Jason intended
with his post, but I thought I should respond to clear up possible
confusion or misimpressions.  Earlier this week, a potential reviewer
contacted by Abscissa Press asked about similarities between TOCPL
and an online document he understood to represent a book to be
published by Jason.  Here is a copy of the response sent to him:

   It's good you asked the question because certainly the situation
   could be confusing.  "The Objective Caml Programming Language" is
   derived from an earlier unpublished joint work by Jason Hickey and
   Tim Rentsch;  if you look in the Preface in Rentsch's book you will
   see an attribution to this effect, mentioning Jason Hickey by name.
   Dr. Hickey has been aware of plans to publish a separate book based
   on their earlier joint work, and has asked only that he be given an
   attribution, which of course we were happy to do.

   The earlier collaboration started in early 2004 and continued until
   early 2007.  There were negotiations for the joint work underway
   with Cambridge University Press at that time, but when the authors
   couldn't agree on terms, each decided to proceed independently.

   Our understanding is that Hickey's forthcoming book with CUP is
   supposed to be based on previous material and not on material
   developed as part of the joint work, but even so, given the history,
   it wouldn't be surprising if there were lots of similarities.  We
   don't know how similar the two books might actually be.  As far as
   we know the CUP book has not yet been published.  We haven't yet had
   the opportunity to review the webpage material for the link you
   sent, and of course we don't know if that material is what will end
   up being published.  None of that changes the basic answer to your
   question, which is that there are two similar texts because authors
   who had been working together later decided to proceed and publish

Of course Jason may have been unaware that TOCPL had been published;
however, despite whatever impressions his comments might offer, he
certainly was aware that I was working on an Objective Caml book
based on our earlier joint work.

>  Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 12:22:04 -0800
>  Subject: Re: [Caml-list] The new OCaml book (Objective Caml Programming 
>       Language by Tim Rentsch)
>  From: Jason Hickey <>
>  To:
>  Richard,
>  Thank you for pointing this out, I was unaware of this book.  My book
>  on OCaml (currently circulating as an online pdf) is under contract
>  with Cambridge University Press.
>  I haven't read Mr. Rentsch's book (I just ordered a copy from Amazon).
>   I should point out that I have neither authorized nor endorsed Mr.
>  Rentsch's book, nor have I given permission to use any text that I
>  have written.  It would be heartbreaking to me if this work were to be
>  published without my permission -- I started writing in 2000, and the
>  text has been through many classes and much writing.  I must assume
>  Tim wrote his text independently.  Still, I look forward to seeing a
>  copy.
>  Jason
>  On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 11:40 AM, Jon Harrop <> wrote:
>  > On Friday 27 February 2009 14:28:58 Tom Hutchinson wrote:
>  >> I know a people have resorted to just printing out the pdf of the
>  >> draft. Great to finally buy this in a normal form.
>  >>
>  >> Never heard of the publisher though.
>  >
>  > Looks like the publisher was created just to publish this book, as we created
>  > Flying Frog to publish OCaml for Scientists four years ago.
>  >
>  > The publishers were kind enough to send me a complimentary copy so I shall
>  > blog a review on OCaml News in due course. Suffice to say that the content
>  > (264 pages from the main 17 chapters) is excellent from a purely theoretical
>  > standpoint and, I would say, targets undergrad computer scientists preparing
>  > to sit exams about OCaml. The book covers advanced topics in detail and
>  > contains lots of academic exercises. In particular, about a third of the book
>  > is devoted to OCaml's approach to object oriented programming.
>  >
>  > --
>  > Dr Jon Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd.
>  >
>  >
>  > _______________________________________________
>  > Caml-list mailing list. Subscription management:
>  >
>  > Archives:
>  > Beginner's list:
>  > Bug reports:
>  >
>  _______________________________________________
>  Caml-list mailing list. Subscription management:
>  Archives:
>  Beginner's list:
>  Bug reports: