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Teaching ocaml programming
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Date: 2008-09-26 (14:29)
From: Peng Zang <peng.zang@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Teaching ocaml programming
Hash: SHA1

If you have dual-boot machines, why not try Ocaml + Emacs + tuareg-mode in 

You can install tuareg-mode globally so that no one has to touch a .emacs or 
know about it.  If it's the keyboard shortcuts that students are not used to, 
they can 1) deal or 2) you can remap some common shortcuts and wrap it in a 
shell script so they run Emacs-for-class instead of standard Emacs.  
Personally, I think they should just deal.  A little exposure to a 
non-Windows environment, a little broadening of horizons, all good stuff.

When I took a programming languages class at UIUC, that is how we learned 
OCaml.  I found it quite easy to pick up.  Emacs has the best toplevel 
integration with OCaml and it sounds like you want to make heavy use of it.


PS. I just looked at IDLE and Emacs + OCaml blows it out of the water.  I 
swear IDLE is like a mini-subset of Emacs.  Even the keyboard shortcuts are 
the same.  If you like IDLE, Emacs + OCaml can only be better.

On Friday 26 September 2008 07:30:00 am Andrej Bauer wrote:
> Once again I am teaching a course on theory of programming languages in
> which we will use ocaml to implement mini-languages. And once again I
> face the question: which programming environment should we use?
> I have so far tried to use (under Windows)
> 1. cygwin + ocaml + XEmacs
> 2. Eclipse + OcaIDE
> The second solution worked better than the first, for the simple reason
> that XEmacs is a complete mystery to students. They really, really hate
> it. But even with the second soltion we had a lot of trouble, because
> Eclipse is really complicated, and OcaIDE is sort of experimental and
> not so good under Windows, so the whole setup was confusing and fragile.
> The requirements are very simple:
> 1. easy access to toplevel (with line-editing)
> 2. editor which can send stuff to toplevel, points to errors in source
> code, and is not Emacs.
> Any ideas what to do? We have dual-boot machines (Windows + Ubuntu).
> Best regards,
> Andrej
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