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What is a future of ocaml?
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Date: 2009-01-15 (12:46)
From: Benedikt Grundmann <benedikt.grundmann@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] What is a future of ocaml?
I would even go so far as to say that

One of the advantages of OCaml's current development model is
that it is not changing the language very quickly.

OCaml is already a big language (featurer/syntax and so on wise),
it should (IMHO) not grow a lot more at least not without giving
each change a lot of thought.



2009/1/15 Jacques Garrigue <garrigue@math.nagoya-u.ac.jp>:
> From: "David Allsopp" <dra-news@metastack.com>
>> Dawid Toton wrote:
>> > Could anybody explain why it's impossible to have type classes in OCaml?
>> I don't think it's impossible - but I believe that if you introduce type
>> classes then you "damage" Hindley-Milner type inference and you can no
>> longer derive a principal typing for an arbitrary ML expression without
>> resorting to type annotations. Whether this is a problem or not is a matter
>> of taste - but it does make the language harder to call "ML" if you lose one
>> of its central features! That said, there are of course two big features
>> (objects and polymorphic variants) in OCaml already which do require
>> annotations.
> The reason is mostly wrong :-)
> One can have both type classes and principal types; the problem with
> principal types in Haskell is more subtle thant that.
> And neither polymorphic variants nor object require type anotations in
> ocaml; they just make it much more painful to understand error
> messages.
> Principality is only broken by optional arguments and polymorphic
> methods, and there is a -principal flag that recovers some form of
> principality (requiring type annotations).
> This said, type classes have a lot of common features with modules or
> objects, so this would be yet another way to do some similar things.
> More problematic, type classes depend on the nominality of the type
> systems, while ocaml has a rich language of structural types. For
> instance, it is not completely clear how one could select instances of
> type classes for polymorphic variants, without introducing conflicts.
> I'm afraid the combination of type classes with modules and functors
> is not trivial either.
> Jacques Garrigue
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