Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Thu, 21 Aug 2003
On the language front...
Oliver Steele, the Chief Software Architect at Lazlo Systems, has a great explanation of the argument for implicitly typed languages in the presence of a rigid unit test discipline. He's also got some screenshots from Apple Dylan, showing the IDE. Note that this is circa 1995.

Last night after SeaJUG, while Wilhelm was showing me his TiBook, I was showing him Daniel Friedman's Object-Oriented Style paper. I was showing Wilhelm the three versions of the hairy page long macro when Jason Marshall turned around, heard what we were talking about, said "why don't you just use Objective Caml?", and then returned to his conversation. So I was amused to see this morning's Slashdot piece on mod_caml, which is like mod_lisp but for OCaml. The Slashdot comments actually have comparisons of Ruby and OCaml code for scripts. Kind of interesting.

Also happening today, je_apostrophe found this quote by Joe Marshall on the LL1 list with a specific list of complaints against Java:

    1.  No syntactic abstraction (macros)
    2.  No multiple inheritence
    3.  Single dispatch
    4.  C-like syntax
    5.  Verbosity
    6.  Expressions and statements that are not interchangable
    7.  In general, no tail recursion.
    8.  Dichotomy between primitive types and class types
    9.  No MOP
I'd add another one - no REP loop.

So what happens if we take Joe Marshall's list and apply it to the language that Jason Marshall is championing (Objective Caml)? Let's go point by point:

  1. Nope, no macros
  2. Multiple inheritance is there
  3. No multimethods
  4. ML syntax
  5. Not too verbose
  6. It's a functional langauge, it's expression oriented
  7. Handles tail calls and tail recursion
  8. No problems here
  9. No MOP
  10. (Mine, must have a REP loop) - Yep REP Loop included.
Well, 6/10 certainly better than Java. And I think that OCaml would definitely be a step up from Java. But the absence of syntactic abstraction is a big problem for me.
[01:03] | [computers/programming] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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