wood burning stoves 2.0*
The moose likes Functional Programming and the fly likes Ocaml what's going on. Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Engineering » Functional Programming
Bookmark "Ocaml what Watch "Ocaml what New topic
Author

Ocaml what's going on.

Sayth renshaw
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2011
Posts: 44
Recently I hopped onto http://try.ocamlpro.com/. To try ocaml, and seriously it seems from this preliminary investigation it's a great little language .

But why the apparent lack of popularity. Blogs by the "flying frog" suggest it boomed and died, that it is a great language without community.

There are references to Jane street still heavily using ocaml. Ocaml 4 has been at rc for a year now.

If its dead it seems a shame most seem to indicate that I initially they went to f#. But even that seems quiet with people avoiding the .Net lock in.

Now Orielly is releasing Real World Ocsml October this year. Surely they wouldn't release a book to a dead market, to a language where development had stalled.

Scala seems to have the current hype, but will ocaml or another ML language come through?
Sean Corfield
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 267
    
    5

A language can have quite a healthy community and support books (and conferences) but still be very "niche". Pronouncing any language "dead" is generally premature.

Scala benefits from a lot of concerted marketing that is pushing it as a "better Java" to enterprise-level Java teams and because it is a hybrid OOP/FP language, it's easier to sell into OOP shops since they don't actually have to change how they think. Personally, I suspect the vast majority of Scala code out there really is "Java with less syntax" rather than the next generation, idiomatic functional code.

Switching to Ocaml or F# or Clojure or Haskell (or any other "pure" functional language) requires you to shift how you think at a fairly fundamental level. Those languages are really unlikely to even approach the mainstream - which means that compared to Scala they're always going to look like failures to some degree, and compared to Java (or C#) they're going to look almost non-existent. That doesn't make them any less useful or valuable.
Sayth renshaw
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2011
Posts: 44
Certainly hope Ocaml is not dead. it's a nice language. I tried try Haskell as well and see the initial similarities.

If people really liked Ocaml 2007-2009 they must like this language style and they should hopefully be in an FP and/or ML community somewhere.

Sayth renshaw
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2011
Posts: 44
Actually.

Interestingly enough the last noted release also coincides with an announcemnet of increased ocaml development, the ocaml labs project.
Ocaml Labs Project - Anil

and

JaneStreet Annoncement
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1846
    
  16

Don't want to discourage your enthusiasm for Ocaml, but having briefly learned some Standard ML and Scala in the last year, I was interested to see a lot of similarities between ML and Scala. If you're curious, here's one take on various functional languages including Ocaml and Scala:

http://matt.might.net/articles/best-programming-languages/

And some simple code in different FP languages for comparison:

https://gist.github.com/ckirkendall/2934374


No more Blub for me, thank you, Vicar.
Sayth renshaw
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2011
Posts: 44
Thanks for the interesting reading. Read it once but still digesting it.

Not stuck on Ocaml just found a real instant liking for the ML syntax. I did the try Haskell and its nice as well. Scala is a little harder just to try.
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Since you like ML languages, then have a look at : Fjord. It is a port of F# to the JVM!
Sayth renshaw
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2011
Posts: 44
Hope it goes well, silly to have a good language like f# wasting away on .Net
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Sayth renshaw wrote:Hope it goes well, silly to have a good language like f# wasting away on .Net

Why .NET is a wasted platform?
Sayth renshaw
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2011
Posts: 44
Wasted because its becoming niche. It's not niche yet but that's the way it's heading.
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Sayth renshaw wrote:Wasted because its becoming niche. It's not niche yet but that's the way it's heading.

.NET isn't becoming a niche. That is you opinion, not a fact.
Sayth renshaw
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2011
Posts: 44
Correct it's not niche yet, like I said its becoming niche. Smarter and more respected people such as Jeff Atwood are not only saying this but taking action and moving as well.

I mean Atwood is the guy that built stackoverflow in .Net and has used windows for most of his career and he is moving.

Talk is one thing but when smart people take action that speaks volumes, for me anyway.
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Zed Shaw smashed Ruby and Rails years ago, what happens now to Ruby and Rails?
Sayth renshaw
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2011
Posts: 44
First Atwood didn't smash .Net he gave a realistic appraisal of what he liked why he used it and why now he had chosen differently .

Niche is not bad niche can still be powerful. It's just that for me with Java you can access so many devices Windows, Ubuntu, Mac, Android etc with windows you get windows and to some extent mono though since Icaza left appears to not be a long term target moving forward.

So from the 4 major targets you get only 25% with windows and 100% for Java. Sure windows has the most devices in hands at the moment and that's why I said its not niche yet, but becoming niche.
Stephen McConnell
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 23, 2010
Posts: 19
I've started learning Functional Programming and found many books on FP Data Structures use a Lisp or an ML derivative such as Caml or OCaml. So, I started working with OCaml. About half way through my first book on it, I looked up what Jobs were available using OCaml and didn't find many. Then, I found this article:

Flying Frog Blog: The rise and Fall of OCaml

Albeit, this article was published in 2010, but it discusses why OCaml's popularity sort of waned.

From the article:
We blame the inability of OCaml's garbage collector to allow threads to run in parallel as the primary reason for this mass exodus. OCaml was an awesome tool in the late 1990s and, by 2004, many people were finding the OCaml language from benchmark results that showed it to be one of the fastest languages available. Ironically, that was largely due to the superior performance of OCaml's garbage collector but that same garbage collector is now a serious impediment to parallel programming on today's multicore machine


This was written prior to version 3.12 (I don't know what version existed then). And now they are up to 4.0 or greater. I don't know if they have removed the problems with threads, but it is still a nice language and is pretty darn fast.

If anyone has any updates on the garbage collection threading problem, please update me.

I will continue using OCaml to explore Functional Programming for now, but may move over to F# because of it's uses in Numerical and Mathematical programing.

As I always say:
"Boredom is a personal defect."
- Lamar Stephens


Stephen McConnell

"Boredom is a personal defect"
-- Lamar Stephens
Sayth renshaw
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 17, 2011
Posts: 44
F# looks a great option is cross platform to an extent and is about to enter tiobe top. 10 so it's popularity is surging.

Having said that in visual studio you can't use all the features you can in say c# the visual designers just don't exist to create web apps yet.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Ocaml what's going on.