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Re: [Caml-list] Future of labels
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Date: 2001-03-30 (14:16)
From: Jean-Marc Alliot <alliot@r...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Future of labels
"Benjamin C. Pierce" wrote:

> One thing to be careful of, though, is making the language a lot more
> difficult to use for newcomers.  The present language design has the
> advantage that people do not have to start out understanding labels to do
> anything at all in OCaml -- they can learn about them much later, when
> they start doing fancy GUI programming or whatever.
> This property makes OCaml at the moment a much better language for
> *teaching* than, say, Java, where there are about a dozen fairly deep
> concepts that you have to understand before you can write even the
> smallest program.  We use OCaml at Penn for teaching intro programming to
> hundreds of undergraduates, and the main attraction is that you can write
> significant programs in a tiny subset of the language.

I completely support Benjamin opinion. We have exactly the same kind of problems
with our students and it would be a real pain if they had to learn labels from the

So, my only strong wish is to still be able to use OCAML without having to know
anything about labels.

Note : I still find labels useful, especially in GUI bindings. And this comment is
in noway a criticism of Jacques Garrigue excellent work.

|             Jean-Marc Alliot          |
|  http://www.recherche.enac.fr/~alliot |
|         alliot@recherche.enac.fr      |

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