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Is OCaml fast?
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Date: 2010-11-23 (23:54)
From: Jon Harrop <jonathandeanharrop@g...>
Subject: RE: [Caml-list] Is OCaml fast?
Oliver wrote:
> AFAIK in the past, functional langauges were not adapted, because they
> were
> very unperformant - at least this is one reason.
> Another reason might be, that the available functional languages in the
> past
> were overloaded with parenthess ;)

That was also true of early ML implementations. When I was first taught ML at university we used the Cambridge ML interpreter and you actually had to sit there and wait for it to solve the 8-queens problem. At the time, I thought ML was a complete joke and could see no use for it outside its very specific domain of theorem proving and actually really resented being taught it on a general CS course. I know better now though. ;-)

Later language implementations inherited many of these inefficiencies though. Many of the things that can make OCaml and Java slow were inherited from Lisp. They are, in effect, designs that still bear the burden of dynamic typing despite being statically typed.