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[Caml-list] Frustrated Beginner
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Date: 2003-12-23 (04:19)
From: jayanta nath <jnath001@c...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Frustrated Beginner
Hello Tyler Eaves,

Nice to know about you!

Error reporting is a big issue not just in OCaml but in any functional
language. A great deal of research is currently going on to better the
error reporting. As for a site where you can learn OCaml, to the best of
my knowledge, the online manual for OCaml version 3.07 at the site of
INRIA (the institute where OCaml has been developed) might be a good
starting point for you. The link is :

Other than this, I think it will take some time and practice to get used
to the syntactical issues like ";;" for ";".

Best of Luck in learning OCaml!

Jayanta Kumar Nath.

> First a bit of background:
> I'm a 19 yr old computer science student, been programming for perhaps
> 10 years. Started (Like so many did in the early '90s with QBasic in
> DOS. These days most of my work is done in either PHP (web stuff) or
> Python (everything else) with the occasional bit of C for stuff that
> needs to run really fast. I'm also passingly familiar with a number of
> other langauges (C++, Java, Perl, etc).
> So why is O'Caml giving me so much trouble? I've been trying to pick it
> up for about a week now, read various online tutorials. I'm just having
> no luck at all. My largest program to date (that works) is all of 3
> lines long, and simply printed out the command line arguments passed to
> the program.
> My biggest source of problems seems to be the syntax. I'm totally
> confused as far as ; vs ;; vs nothing, when to use ( ), and things of
> the like. It doesn't help that the compiler is completly naive when it
> comes to Syntax Errors. It would be so helpful if it could give an error
> message that actually told the programmer what it expected. I realise
> that O'Camls syntax allows many things, so that it may be hard to say
> exactly what it WAS expecting in all cases, but surely SOMETHING
> meaningful, besides a charater postion could be given?
> What I'd really like is a site with examples of actual programs. Most of
> the example code I've seen is A: Not commened and B: Recursive
> Mathematical functions. I'd really love to see an example, of say,
> reading in a file, looking at each character, and doing something when
> it encounters, say, a tab. Or any other such program that actually does
> something.
> I really want to like O'Caml. It seems to offer a very nice feature set,
> and the ability to compile to super-fast native code is the icing on the
> cake. Right now though, I'm frustrated and on the verge of giving up.
> TE
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