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Teaching bottomline, part 3: what should improve.
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Date: 2007-05-24 (01:44)
From: Jon Harrop <jon@f...>
Subject: Revolution
On Wednesday 23 May 2007 23:14:05 Jacques Garrigue wrote:
> But... this is exactly the kind of things for which you can already
> use concurrency in ocaml. For instance, lablgtk2 provides a GtkThread
> module, which lets you run the GUI in another thread, and post updates
> asynchronously. This is also possible with labltk, albeit not
> documented.
> I do not say this is elegant in its current form, but we are limited
> by the underlying library.

I appreciate the limitations of the existing GUI libraries on Linux. I'll try 
to translate some of the examples from the tutorials into F# and show you the 

I'm going to let you in on a recurring dream of mine. Ever since I saw how 
easy .NET makes GUI and web programming, and ever since I saw the demos of a 
Windows GUI based on hardware-accelerated vector graphics in Vista, Windows 
Presentation Foundation and now Silverlight, I have wanted to see this on 

The fact is, the OCaml community are extraordinarily talented and I've been 
sitting on the OCaml translation of our hardware-accelerated vector graphics 
engine for years. We are in the process of translating this into F# for 


and we already have customers.

Is there any chance that we can team up to produce Linux's Vista- and 
Silverlight-killer and write the whole thing in OCaml?

Here are my ideas:

1. A new GUI library written in a functional style that renders controls as 
vector graphics via Smoke. Everything is rendered using OpenGL but abstracted 
behind Smoke.

2. Typesetting graphical IDEs for programming with integrated visualization.

3. A document format to replace HTML that provides mathematical typesetting 
and embedded, scriptable 2D and 3D vector graphics, and a browser to 
view/edit these documents.

Does anyone else find this idea awe inspiring?

Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd.
The F#.NET Journal