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(int * int) <> int*int ?
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Date: 2006-02-24 (13:08)
From: Alain Frisch <Alain.Frisch@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] (int * int) <> int*int ?
Jacques Garrigue wrote:
> The tuple based syntax for constructors is ambiguous: there is no way
> to know syntactically whether a constructor takes as argument a tuple
> or separate arguments. This is the reason for this whole discussion.

In a sense, the same applies to functions. When a function is called,
there is no way to know statically whether it expects more arguments
(the call creates a closure) or not (the body of the function can be
evaluated now). As you know, this is solved dynamically.

One could imagine the same for variants. Applying a constructor
with several syntactical arguments `A(arg1,arg2) would create a block
[| `A; arg1; arg2 |] whereas "let x = (arg1,arg2) in `A x" would create
a block [| `A; [| arg1; arg2 |] |]. Then it is up to pattern matching to
be more clever and deal with the two possible cases at runtime (maybe
one wants to use a non-zero tag for the block [| `A; arg1; arg2 |]),
possibly creating new tuples as in "match `A(arg1,arg2) with `A x -> x".

I'm not claiming that it is worth the extra complexity nor
that it would really improve anything, though...

-- Alain