An analogy that, sadly, very few people will appreciate

A more substantial entry to follow, perhaps, but:

OCaml is just like Star Control 2. Very few people know about either, but those who do universally acknowledge that they’re just the best at their respective domains. How is it that such brilliance is so easily overlooked?

(I could probably make some indie music reference too but nothing stands out as much as these two do.)

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7 Responses to An analogy that, sadly, very few people will appreciate

  1. phaedrus1313 says:

    I’ve heard of Star Control 2 from a lot more people than OCaml. I thin kOCaml is all hype =)


    • aj says:

      Well more people play games than program. Let’s say the percentage of people who play and people who program ….

      Hype? So where does it fail, again? :)

  2. awu says:

    Perhaps it’s not so much brilliance in a domain as it is a question of, well, what is this domain? What games are in SC2’s genre? What is that genre anyway? (Probably none, and a mix of things.)

    As for FP, it’s not just about elegance, but about how many people are familiar with similar languages, what extant tools easily interop, and the quality and quantity and connectedness of books and people that are immediately/easily available.

    • aj says:

      SC2’s domain: PC games. Like OCaml it doesn’t trump everything else at every task (e.g. it’s not a better pure action game than Quake), but if you had to pick one best thing, it’d be it.

      OCaml is not just FP. But it’s true that it doesn’t very easily interoperate with everything else out there, like Perl does, but I think that’s partially a function of the fact that very few people use it. Interoperation (and documentation) takes man-hours.

      The fact is, if I were to undertake just about any large user-level application development, I’d do it in OCaml.

      Like SC2, though, it’s not strictly dominant; I’d still prefer Perl for prototyping, and C/C++ for interacting with system services and other user libraries.

  3. ccho says:

    elitist schlong

    Haha Ur-Qan! Actually there was a similar Mac shareware game around that time that I used to play, but it was not as complex.
    I don’t know much about OCaml though, I’ll take a look when I get around to completing my personal projects!

  4. wingerz says:


    i can’t believe you guys bought a 3d0 to play sc2. nuts!

    i’ve experienced neither, but i’ve been brainwashed by both of you.

  5. johnxorz says:

    Of course I have to respond to this. :)

    It is exceptionally unusual to find things that stand out so distinctly in their domains. I don’t think it’s possible for a movie or a piece of music to be in the same category — as passive activities, the experience of watching a movie or listening to music can not be as intense as playing a game or writing code. Non-coders will just have to trust me on the last point. :)

    Although Star Control 2 lacks the visual effects to attract new converts 12 years after its release, the plot and gameplay are unparalleled to this day.

    As for OCaml, any systems programmer owes it to himself to give this language a try — you’ll never want to constrain yourself with C++ or Java again.

    Interestingly enough, they’re both completely free these days too.

    If only more people could see “The Way”. :)