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[Caml-list] [ANN] The Missing Library
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Date: 2004-04-25 (11:50)
From: Benjamin Geer <ben@s...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] [ANN] The Missing Library
james woodyatt wrote:
> On 23 Apr 2004, at 14:33, John Goerzen wrote:
>> A plethora of mutually-incompatible modules that duplicate and extend
>> standard library features is in nobody's interest.  The result will be
>> an irrelevant standard library and a fragmented development community.
> Yeah— that was such a huge roadblock to the popularity of the C language.

The fact that people often heroically manage to make nearly impossible 
situations livable is not a reason for creating such situations on purpose.

> A vibrant community of people outside INRIA developing independent [even 
> mutually-incompatible] extensions to the distribution libraries is in 
> *everybody's* interest.

Are you joking?  Have you ever tried to write a program using several 
mutually incompatible libraries?

Before C++ had STL, everyone wrote their own string class.  Surely you 
can imagine the resulting contortions when libraries with different 
string classes had to be used together.  If an application programmer 
constantly has to translate between different libraries' conceptions of 
string, I/O channel or Internet address, the result is not simply 
endless annoyance (it is really a pain to write and use that sort of 
glue code constantly); more importantly, it makes applications 
unreadable and unmaintainable.

I work in a domain where integration of many applications and libraries 
is essential.  With all its faults, at least Java has standard String, 
InputStream and InetAddress classes.  Life without these things would be 
a nightmare.


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