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Is OCaml fast?
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Date: 2010-11-24 (14:07)
From: Cedric Cellier <rixed@h...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Is OCaml fast?
I was in a similar position than yours two years ago, looking for a
higher level language than C to gain some expressive power but without
willing to sacrifice C's speed. I consulted a lot of benchmarks from
the shootout, and also many webpages similar to the one you refer to,
some praising a language some criticizing it.

The various contenders of the shootout seamed to fall in three categories :
languages that are fast compared to C, but does not reduce much the size
of the source code (C++, java, APS...), languages that allow concise
manipulations of non-trivial data structures (Lisps, MLs, Haskells), and
non-compiled languages that I never considered adopting.

I eliminated Haskell because GHC was only usable on x86 architecture at
that time, so I tried various Lisp at first. Then a friend pointed me to
Ocaml since, according to him, it's easier to cross the gap between C
and Ocaml than between C and anything else. I thus finally tried Ocaml
and, despite my initial apprehensions, I felt myself comfortable with
its syntax after am couple of days.

I am now using it whenever I have the choice to, after many years of C,
mixing with C or ASM when necessary (which is quite easy), because I
feel it's pleasant to use, and that I have still many things to learn
from it, without the bad feeling to waste CPU cycles along the way.

I like to think that if yon consider only speed and terseness of the
code, Ocaml is still amongst the top languages ; probably not the #1 as
stated by the (quite old) webpage you pointed to, but still excellent.