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[liberationtech] [p2p-hackers] Programming language for anonymity network

Hannes Mehnert hannes at mehnert.org
Tue Apr 22 13:04:23 PDT 2014


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On 04/22/2014 21:15, Christof Leng wrote:
> I was very happy with Standard ML (non-object-oriented
> 'predecessor' of OCAML) for writing complex P2P systems and even
> user-land transport protocols.

Agreed. I use the Caml part of OCaml. :)

> Functional programming and static typing helps to discover subtle
> bugs that go unnoticed in imperative languages (and I'm not talking
> about something as ridiculous as buffer overruns).
> 
> Unfortunately, Stevens requirement of familiarity still speaks
> against functional programming languages, even for something as
> popular (and watered-down) as Scala. It's very hard to find code
> contributors who know the language or are willing to learn it.

But if you have a chance to start from scratch, you should look at
possible solutions and use a viable one. Especially the readability
and maintainability of a programming language should be considered.
Otherwise you end up with a piece of code which is not maintainable
once the PhDs have graduated. You have to pay the technical debt at
some point. And I'm not sure how to hand over a research project to
'the open source community'... Are there best practices/guidelines
availble?

I think the OCaml community is rather larger compared to other
functional programming languages, and it is very helpful. Both the
real world ocaml book, available online https://realworldocaml.org/,
and their package management system OPAM, are awesome contributions
over the last years to easily start with OCaml and to get more people
involved.


Cheers,

Hannes
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