Re: per-line comments

From: Xavier Leroy (
Date: Mon Jun 22 1998 - 10:51:17 MET DST

Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 10:51:17 +0200
From: Xavier Leroy <>
To: Donald Syme <>, fbesnard <>
Subject: Re: per-line comments
In-Reply-To: <>; from Donald Syme on Thu, Jun 18, 1998 at 03:05:29AM +0100

> > - there is no 'per line' comment (like Ada's "--" or C++'s "//" ) ?
> I too think this is a must. It may not quite accord with the personal
> tastes of the CaML implementors,
Caml's comment syntax is more a question of historical tradition than
personal tastes. After all, the comment syntax is perhaps the only
bit of syntax that hasn't changed between LCF ML, Caml, and Standard ML...

> but many good programmers use this
> extensively in their in-line documentation.

I don't quite get the point about in-line documentation. I write
perfectly fine on-line documentation between (* and *). Why would it
be any better with // or -- ?

> I figure they should be
> able to transfer their "existing practice" when they make the switch to
> CaML, just to make the switch as painless as possible.

Depends from which background you come. E.g. for a well-trained C
programmer, delimited comments make more sense.

At any rate, the main problem with per-line comments (as with most
syntax extension) is that they need a reserved symbol. Both // and --
are valid OCaml infix identifiers; // is even used in the Num standard
library module.

- Xavier Leroy

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