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[Caml-list] "high end" type theory for working programmers?
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Date: 2002-05-03 (10:17)
From: Michael Vanier <mvanier@c...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] "high end" type theory for working programmers?

I highly recommend Benjamin Pierce's new book "Types in Programming
Languages" from MIT press.  It's very well-written, covers much of the
material you describe, and includes implementations in ocaml ;-)


> Date: Thu, 02 May 2002 17:49:25 -0700
> From: Chris Hecker <checker@d6.com>
> The list has had a lot of discussions about type theory behind the module 
> system, tuples, and the like lately.  Most of it has been over my head, 
> which is fun, because it presents a challenge to try to figure out what 
> people are saying.  I am wondering how much of it is useful for actually 
> writing "regular" code (as opposed to compilers or theorem provers).  Are 
> there books (or survey papers) on this stuff that are meant to educate 
> working programmers, as opposed to language researchers?  For example, 
> where should I go to learn what this means, and whether I care (just a 
> randomly chosen sentence representative of stuff that's currently over my 
> head from the past few days on the list):
> "That functor is essentially the polymorphic identity functor, while the 
> other variation was a polymorphic eta-expansion of the abstraction operator."
> or another example:
> "In this encoding, modules are only records, so module types are ordinary 
> types, and there is no distinction between ordinary abstract types 
> (introduced by explicit polymorphic abstraction) and ``abstract 
> signatures''. There is, as far as I can tell, no need for kind polymorphism."
> I started using caml to find out if a "higher level" language could make a 
> difference in my programming productivity (writing video games).  As I 
> continue with that experiment, I'm curious to know whether understanding 
> this high end type theory stuff would help make me a better programmer, or 
> just more able to understand the list lately.  Either is fine, but both 
> would obviously be great.  :)
> Chris
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