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[Caml-list] a reckless proposal
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Date: 2001-07-26 (15:48)
From: Brian Rogoff <bpr@b...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] a reckless proposal
On Thu, 26 Jul 2001, Miles Egan wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 25, 2001 at 08:15:49AM -0700, Brian Rogoff wrote:
> > It also seems that you'd like to eliminate these false friends (good phrase, 
> > especially for a bilingual French-English mailing list!) by subsuming them
> > into features that mainstream programmers know well. That would be a
> > mistake, since you'd end up with a mainstream language. 
> I certainly wouldn't generally characterize my intentions that way.  I'm more
> interested in re-evaluating gratuitous differences.  At any rate, I agree that
> the loss of pattern-matching more than outweighs the benefits in this case.
> Ocaml is stylistically quite comfortably out of the mainstream in many ways and
> I'm sure it will remain so.

I think pattern matching is a compelling feature. I'd like to see
extensions to OCaml's pattern matching, like the SMLish ability to to
distinguish a partial and full record match (yeah I know backwards
compatibility may be an issue). And views, and...

> > 90s). Ada packages correspond very closely to ML modules, and there are
> > even crude approximations to functors and signatures in Ada 95 (generic 
> > formal package parameters in Ada parlance). 
> It's not the combination of packaging and polymorphism in Ocaml that I think is
> confusing.  In fact, I think it's one of it's most compelling features.  It's
> the fact that compilation units are implicit top-level modules with special
> properties.  A few paragraphs in the documentation explaining top-level modules
> and the relationship between source files and implicit top-level modules might
> clarify this a bit better for new users.

http://caml.inria.fr/ocaml/htmlman/manual005.html section 4.5 explains it. 
Maybe a few more paragraphs showing how to use module types, functors, and
top level modules in a smallish compiled program would help? 

> Perhaps some kind of "Ocaml for Java Programmers" FAQ might be useful?

I don't use Java enough that it's the source of false friends. Are you

-- Brian

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