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Date: 2009-04-01 (16:34)
From: Kuba Ober <ober.14@o...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] questions
> Hi,
> When M. Ober say the official material is of poor quality. i am  
> French and really surprise.
> I saw Xavier Leroy teach caml at the CNAM in france, and he know how  
> to teach.
> The official document is not an ocaml curse, that's right. (The  
> inria is not pay for that )

I have given recently one example of how the information about a  
simple topic -- lists -- is
rather arbitrarily split up and distributed across different portions  
of the manual. It seems
that same could be said of almost any other randomly chosen basic  
topic (arrays, types, pattern
matching, etc). I don't think that's how you write good manuals, but  
that's merely my opinion, and
the only way I can explain it better is to give examples of what I  
consider good manuals, which I did
in the post I mentioned.

> I totally agree that it would be pleasant to have more documentation  
> on Ocaml, especially if you don't have ocaml lesson.

Having or not having OCaml lessons is pretty much irrelevant here.  
Your assumption here is, perhaps,
that you remember everything you are taught. When you're an occasional  
user, like I am, I constantly
forget, and that amplifies any shortcomings in the manual, as I have  
to deal with them repeatedly.
Of course I then write down some notes, and look there first, but this  
does not affect the manual.
There are many similar ways things can be done in ML-like languages.  
Understanding of the
underlying methodology is one thing, but OCaml is a concrete  
implementation and if I forget a way
some particular thing is done, it doesn't help much that I have  
general knowledge of that thing. I still
must look it up :)

> The reader are a little like you M. Ober, they like good quality and  
> when a book is not as good as they like, they have the same reaction  
> as you.
> I am disappointed because it is not the better encouragement.   
> Different views and usages of the language seems to me better than  
> too few.

Encouragement to whom? I'm trying to discuss facts, if that's so  
bothersome then I can't really help it.
My motive is not to offend anyone nor to diminish the excellent work  
otherwise done by the OCaml team.
I'm trying to understand why the manual is so bad -- that's all. I  
know the realities of life, and that
sometimes things cannot be done perfectly even if one so wishes -- I  
went down that road many times.
That's just how it is, I know. What I didn't expect is the religious  
fervor of the replies -- it's an interesting
thing to observe and learn about!

Cheers, Kuba