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[Caml-list] Frustrated Beginner
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Date: 2003-12-23 (16:47)
From: David Brown <caml-list@d...>
Subject: [Caml-list] Ocaml syntax.
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.

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.

After a bout of frustration with the native ocaml syntax, I know
consider it to be the most pleasing syntax of any language I've ever
used.  It is terse, yet readable.  There is also something about it,
now, that feels very natural to me.

My suggestion to those frustrated by the syntax: persist.  There are
some difficulties, but there are also some significant benefits to it as

Dave Brown

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