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FP & Software Engineering
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Date: 2006-03-29 (23:01)
From: Jonathan Bryant <jtbryant@v...>
Subject: FP & Software Engineering
Ok.  I have a question (or set of questions) that requires the expertise
of the list, so here it goes:

For my Software Engineering II class, which is very heavily based around
object oriented design patterns, I have implemented all 10 assignments
(so far) in OCaml using simply the functional aspects of the language
(no objects).  Each pattern has been used in a rather purist form.  For
example, strategy and iterator were simply higher order functions, while
things like command were implemented using closures/lexical scoping.
This makes for code that is faster, more efficient, and cleaner than my
fellow students' Java/C++ code.

I've been fighting my professors to let me use OCaml for over a year now
and this professor is, at least, the first one who's halfway letting me
use it.  Unfortunately, he is not completely convinced.  Being a OO &
ASP/.NET junkie and never having seriously used a functional language,
he is lost as to HOFs, functors, partial application, etc. and isn't
really convinced that they are useful/necessary (I also believe he
hasn't more than glanced at the code).  He is also demanding UML
diagrams of my code with these notated in it.

Has anybody ever come up with a way of doing these things (HOFs,
functors, partial application, module types, parametric polymorphism) in
UML or any kind of modeling language?  If not, how are these things
usually notated in academic settings (symbolicly, not verbally)?  Is
there anything I can make visually that qualifies?  Google did not
reveal a modeling language for FPLs, so I'm lost.

--Jonathan Bryant