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Re: [Caml-list] Overlapping features of variant types and tuples in Ocaml
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Date: 2002-05-17 (11:40)
From: Luc Maranget <luc.maranget@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Overlapping features of variant types and tuples in Ocaml
> Hi,
> On Thu, May 16, 2002 at 10:45:44PM +0300, Vesa Karvonen wrote:
> > I'm not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean that improving the
> > syntax is perceived to be waste of time by many people.
> Right. Notice that your question is frequently asked. Your problem
> could be resolved syntactically (I mean by changing the syntax). See
> Camlp4 and its "revised syntax", section "types".
> -- 

I personnaly like Daniel's solution to the
1 pair argument/2 arguments constructor dilema.
[C (e1, e2) <-> C e1 e2, as it was for instance the case in lml, the
lazy ml compiler from Goteborg]

But changing such a basic feature of caml is a real problem (backward
compatibility). So I can live with the old syntax.

To me, the most annoying point with the ``official'' syntax of constructors is
that beginners get confused.  Then, as you get more familiar with a
language, you get used to its syntax, and such trouble dissapears.
I admit that this way of seeing things may lead me to consider syntax
problems as of ``minor importance'' this does not mean that syntax is
a non-issue and that working on syntax is wasting time.

The key point is that the old syntax does not reflect well that
constructors have n arguments.

Shipping camlp4 with the distribution is a good idea.
That way, Daniel's improvements (hum, I do not agree with all parts of
revised syntax...) are easily available, better integrated, and
considered officially as part of ocaml.
For example our team choosed to use camlp4 in the new version of jocaml
(under developpement), and the presence of camlp4 inside the
distribution is very convenient.

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