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Teaching ocaml programming
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Date: 2008-09-26 (16:52)
From: Richard Jones <rich@a...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Teaching ocaml programming
On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 09:15:14AM -0700, Arthur Chan wrote:
> Make sure your OCaml has prerequisites that involve some shittier language
> like C, which is taught in a Unix environment with xemacs.  Once the
> students have seen how awful it can get and they associate the terrible
> learning experience with C (what's with the lack of love for emacs anyway?
> =/), then you come to the rescue.  :-D

For extra points, make sure they have to ensure that every error is
checked and every error path out of the function must free up all
resources that have been allocated ...

> Btw, I wouldn't try to use OCaml with Ubuntu, or *any* recent language that
> has been in development.  Support is generally flaky.  The mainline OCaml
> that comes with Ubuntu is fine, but the gl+gtk support is broken.  The
> version of Eclipse that ships with Ubuntu is freaking ancient and won't
> support the Scala plugin.  From what I remember, 8.0.4 also shipped with
> some fossilized version of Scala itself.

[I'm going to diss Ubuntu here ... you know where I'm coming from]

Ubuntu's OCaml support is very flaky.  They don't have developers
committed to it and take a random snapshot of what's in Debian.  This
has in the past led to serious brokenness where they've taken a
snaphot in the middle of a rebuild-the-world compiler upgrade.
Instead go with Debian (or Fedora) where there are developers making
sure you get a consistent, working OCaml.


Richard Jones
Red Hat