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Re: [Caml-list] Why People Aren't Using OCAML? (was Haskell)
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Date: 2001-04-01 (20:29)
From: Joseph R. Kiniry <kiniry@a...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Why People Aren't Using OCAML? (was Haskell)
I attended the GDC as well this past week.  I saw your talk on the schedule 
Chris but I'm afraid that I was unable to attend.  I sent someone from my 
company though and they had good things to say about topic, attendence, and 
your rants. :)

Additionally, over the next two days, I ran into a number of folks that 
asked me about the use of OCaml/ML in game development.  The reason that 
this came up is because my company in this space did an "objective" 
language evaluation when it came to doing prototype development.  This 
process really sparked a lot of interest and, of course, my pushing for 
OCaml came up.

We ended up building the prototype in Eiffel, CLOS, Objective-C, C++, Java, 
and iTcl and we chose Java in the end.  I've been happy with that choice, 
but I was unhappy (at the time and today) that I couldn't convince the 
other founders to give OCaml a try.  Perhaps I'll have more luck with these 
new ICFP results that Chris railed on about.  Additionally, I'll just have 
to secretly implement out prototype in OCaml as well to do a one year 
post-mortum on language choice.

In any case, the point is that some forward-thinking communities that are 
willing to try crazy things now and then for selective reasons (e.g. 
performance), like the gaming development community, are buzzing a bit 
about OCaml.

Of course, now the big (no, make that enormous) problem is one of platform. 
99% of game development is performed in C++/C because those are the only 
language supported on the top platforms (Windows, Playstation, Nintendo, 
Sega, and Xbox).  Who's interested in an OCaml port to the Playstation 2? :)

Joe Kiniry
Joseph R. Kiniry          
California Institute of Technology        ID 78860581      ICQ 4344804
Chief Scientist             DALi, Inc.

--On Monday, March 26, 2001 07:43:48 PM -0800 Chris Hecker <> 

> I just gave a talk at the Game Developers Conference ( on
> "modern" language features, most of which are associated with functional
> programming (although the misnomer "modern" is a little odd, since
> they're almost all in Lisp, and ML's 20 years old :).  I don't have the
> feedback forms on the talk yet, so I don't know how useful people found
> it, but it filled up completely and they were turning people away, which
> for a 9am talk at a game conference strongly implies people are
> interested in alternative languages!
> I'll put the slides up on my website soon, although I doubt anybody on
> this list will learn anything from them.  OCaml has all the features I
> talked about except 1) introspection/reflection and 2) template-style
> generics (as opposed to polymorphism-style generics).
>> BTW, I dont know if this is the right place for this, but are there any
>> people interested in ocaml programming out here in the
>> San Francisco area?
> I'm still planning on organizing the Bay Area OCaml Users Group, or at
> least a big dinner for anyone who's interested.  I'll add your name to
> the list.  Anybody else in the San Francisco Bay Area, USA, who isn't on
> my list mail me privately.
> Chris
> -------------------
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