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At the top of his follow on article he says it isn't good for server applications, but he'd use it for client side.



Yeah, here's the quote: "(Note, long after I wrote this entry: I think OCaml has some fairly fundamental problems that keep it from being a first choice for server-side development. If I were to use it for anything, it would be as a substitute for C++ in delivering client-side executable/GUI programs, e.g. for Windows systems. And I still think it's a really cool language.)"

Anyone know what he's referring to?

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Maybe the lack of parallelism in OCaml's threads at the time he wrote that?

There are now at least two solutions to obtain speedups on multi-core and multi-processor machines plus scalability by allowing seamless distributed processing: the JoCaml extension, which integrates the join calculus (http://jocaml.inria.fr/), and coThreads (http://cothreads.sourceforge.net/), which comprises shared-memory (with extensions like STM) and message passing while keeping backwards-compatibility with the original Threads library.

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He's criticized the lack of a generic print function, calling it "a face-smashing insult to usability."

http://steve.yegge.googlepages.com/when-polymorphism-fails

Note that like many of the alleged deficiencies of OCaml, this was a compromise for performance.

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Good find. I don't see how this keeps OCaml "from being a first choice for server-side development" while making it an acceptable language for client-side development, though.

There are a several hackish polymorphic print implementations, but the best solution so far seems to be the "deriving" camlp4 extension (http://code.google.com/p/deriving/wiki/Introduction). This looks pretty good:

     type 'a tree = Leaf of 'a | Branch of 'a tree * 'a * 'a tree
	 deriving (Show)
     
     type point = { x : float; y : float }
	 deriving (Show)
     
     let points = Branch (Leaf {x=0.0;
				y=0.0;},
			  {x=2.0; y=2.0},
			  Branch (Leaf {x=1.0; y=1.0},
				  {x=1.0; y=0.0},
				  Leaf {x=0.0; y=1.0}))
    		      
    Show.show<point tree> points
    =>
    "Branch
       (Leaf {x =0.; y =0.}, {x =2.; y =2.},
	Branch
	  (Leaf {x =1.; y =1.}, {x =1.; y =0.}, Leaf {x =0.; y =1.}))"

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