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Date: 2007-11-01 (21:00)
From: Dario Teixeira <darioteixeira@y...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Google trends

Though I have no trust whatsoever in Microsoft and I very much doubt
they have any concern at all for OCaml, I still think think that in the
long term, OCaml could benefit from the expected rise of F#.

Foremost, because of the increased mind share for the ML family and FP
in general.  At the moment most developers (even Open Source ones!) still
look at you as a Martian if you say you use OCaml or Haskell.

Many may have even heard of OCaml before (possibly from seeing this
weird name among the top languages of the Computer Language Shootout),
but immediately dismissed it due to the "Martian factor".  With F#
becoming popular and bringing FP and the ML-family into familiar waters,
many Open Source developers are bound to take a more serious look at
that non-Microsoft Linux-friendly F# cousin...

Also, F# seems to be taking the feature-happy approach versus the
more conservative route used by OCaml.  I can easily see F#'s attitude
resulting in a bastardisation of the language, especially if its creators
aren't strong enough to resist marketing pressures.  On the other hand,
if some of these new features prove to be successful in the real world
and integrate well with the core language, then OCaml can only benefit
from borrowing them.


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