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Date: 2003-12-23 (21:52)
From: brogoff@s...
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Ocaml syntax.
On Tue, 23 Dec 2003, David Brown wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 23, 2003 at 09:52:59AM +0100, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> > I also suggest to have a look at the revised syntax described in the
> > camlp4 manual. I'm not using it because I've discovered it too late and
> > I've to work everyday with code written in the standard one, but I found
> > it clearer in a lot of cases. Since you're starting from scratch I think
> > you can give it a chance.
> The revised syntax to ocaml attempts to provide an cleaner, more
> consistent syntax for the language, and it does a fairly good job of it.
> However, I don't see very much code written in the revised syntax.  I've
> thought about why, and come up with an interesting theory.

Gack. Yet another misleading analogy with human languages? I think Wirth was
right when he said we shouldn't call them programming languages.

Stefano is correct, but doesn't go far enough. The reason many of us who like
Revised better don't use it is that we don't work in a vacuum, but we work with
other programmers, and use an existing code base. It's hard enough to get
programmers to learn OCaml, with such a small user community and (comparatively)
such a small amount of teaching material.

Also, it's not clear what's going to happen to Revised now that ddr left.

> The native ocaml syntax has a bunch of strange inconsistencies.  Human
> languages also tend to have lots of inconsistencies, especially around
> the core words.  Perhaps there is something about our brains that works
> best when the core aspect of a language is inconsistent.

If I believed that, I'd be using Perl and C++ more than I do. Nope, I think
"hysterical raisins" and human laziness/inertia/risk-avoidance explains a lot.

-- Brian

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