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Re: [Caml-list] The new OCaml book (Objective Caml Programming Language by Tim Rentsch)
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Date: 2009-03-02 (18:37)
From: Xavier Leroy <Xavier.Leroy@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] The new OCaml book (Objective Caml Programming Language by Tim Rentsch)
> Overall, I can't help seeing that any author who isn't known on this
> list ends up with a questionable book -- first Smith and now Rentsch. 
> Perhaps the elders should form a book vetting committee?

Well, the power to decide is in the hands of publishers (initially)
and customers (later).  But I can assure you that reputable publishing
houses like Springer, Cambridge University Press or MIT Press do
sollicit opinions from academics like me and take them into account.
Their area editors attend major conferences like Principles of
Programming Languages and it's always a pleasure to chat with them.
But there isn't much that can be done with less reputable publishers
and self-publishing, as Alexy remarked.

Coming back to the Hickey/Rentsch book(s), I feel deeply sad about
the mess that is unfolding on this list.  I proofread a draft of Jason
Hickey's book, at his request, and found it very good and just what
the OCaml community is still missing: a well-written, English-language
book on Caml appropriate both as a reference and as teaching material.
(I'm not criticizing the other books in english on OCaml -- thanks God
they exist! -- just noting that they don't quite fit this exact purpose.)
What we now have is lawsuit material...  I sincerely hope some kind of
agreement can still be found at this point.

- Xavier Leroy