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Benchmarks against imperative languages
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Date: 2006-03-04 (18:01)
From: David Teller <David.Teller@e...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Benchmarks against imperative languages
Le samedi 04 mars 2006 à 15:36 +0100, Basile STARYNKEVITCH a écrit :
> Le Sat, Mar 04, 2006 at 02:04:44PM +0000, Sarah Mount écrivait/wrote:
> A real answer would be to have a team of programmers fluent in Ocaml
> write a code (an real-sized application of hundreds of KLOC of source
> code, representing several man-years of effort) which has exactly the
> same precise specification than an existing code written in C. But
> this will never happen (it is too costly but quite useless an
> experiment). For example, nobody will recode in Ocaml an exact clone
> of gcc-4.1, firefox-1.5, or mysql-5.0!

Unfortunately... I don't know about MySQL, but both gcc and Firefox are
applications which shouldn't have been written in C/C++ in the first
place and which spend more LOC emulating other paradigms (respectively
ML/lisp-style and Objective-C/Python-style) than actually doing anything
else -- in the case of Firefox, my experience is that at least 2/3 of
the code is just the application of the dynamic objects layer. 

I actually think that exactly replicating an application would yield any
benefits, as applications are typically designed to be implemented in
one specific language, and around the limitations of this language. On
the other hand, I would consider it interesting to plan and implement an
independent large-scale end-user-oriented open-source project in OCaml.
The question being, of course "what kind of application" ? I'm not sure
that OCaml is the best language for end-user-oriented applications, but
I'd like to be proved wrong.

On the third hand (yeah, Chernobyl), I think that the Next Big Thing in
language is distribution, not a new paradigm or a new take on an old
paradigm. OCaml itself is not that Next Big Thing. JoCaml could be, or
perhaps Acute.

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