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RE: [Caml-list] Width subtyping
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Date: 2009-05-31 (23:08)
From: Dario Teixeira <darioteixeira@y...>
Subject: RE: [Caml-list] Width subtyping


> > Heavier in terms of efficiency, or syntax?
> My concern is the former. The extra two fields per "record" and the heavier
> runtime calls make them so systemically slower that (to me, at least) it
> just feels "wrong" to use objects just to achieve a little syntactic clarity
> and a small reduction in the amount of code written. Polymorphic variants
> (which use only slightly more memory than regular variant values) otherwise
> perform at the same speed as their normal counterparts.

I also meant "heavier" in terms of efficiency.  And like David said, it does
feel wrong to carry the performance penalty of the object system solely because
I need the structural subtyping features.  Ideally, what I should be using
is "record subtyping": something along the lines of the Polymap extension
(which I advise everyone to take a look at), but with compile-time checking.

However, my guess is that proper record subtyping cannot be tacked onto the
language by means of Camlp4, and it probably needs to be a builtin feature
(though I would gladly be proven wrong).  Which leads to the obvious question:
is there any theoretical reason why record subtyping is not available in Ocaml?
Or is the answer simply "just use the object system; it's not as heavy as you
think it is"?...

Dario Teixeira