12 Jun 2001 ksandstr   » (Journeyer)

Objective CAML sure is strange. I know I shouldn't be distracting myself with new stuff while involved in a project that could actually become something else than just a cob-webbed module in my local CVS repository, but I can't help it :-)

As a plus, I now understand why so many people cringe in horror at OCAML's type system -- it's pretty much everything I've been looking to get away from in its almost Pascal-ish typing. For example, the separate +-*/ operators for integers and floating-point numbers. Helloooooo? What's the freaking point here? I shouldn't have to rewrite the same function if I want to do the same basic steps for floating-point numbers. Or complex numbers. Or any numeric type that has the required operators.

From my first impression with OCAML, I would say that it is as close to a bondage-and-discipline language as functional programming is going to get. This isn't necessarily a bad thing (I'm sure that Pascal is one of the more used languages, counting the 667 dialects), but I'd be glad if the language picked up some polymorphism at some point... The static typing probably allows for some bitchin' optimizations by the compiler, though.

Like someone (can't remember who) somewhere once said, LISP (probably also other dynamically typed languages) is good for building organic, ever-changing systems while statically typed languages are good for building pyramids, where you'd better have a precise floorplan before you even start building unless you want to tear down half of what you have built merely because you chose the wrong kind of mortar. Not that tearing down and reimplementing (aka refactoring, like the OO-correct like to call it) isn't a good thing some of the time -- I'm just not sure if the language design should enforce it.

Latest blog entries     Older blog entries

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!