OCaml is a functional language, the main implementation of the Caml programming language created in 1996. OCaml uses to build prototypes of production systems. Facebook, Docker, Bloomberg like well-known companies are now using OCaml to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and go from prototypes to production systems with less effort.
What is Functional Language?
Functional languages are much different than imperative and object-oriented languages. They are like a collection of a building block. Functional languages behave very similarly to mathematical functions. So, these codes become more readable, easy to write, easy to debug, and provides a collection of modules that can be re-used.
Lots of modern languages have features from functional programming languages. Java is not a functional language, it is fundamentally an Object-Oriented language but programmers trend to adopt some functional concepts when programming. C# has a lot of functional programming features. And also, you can do functional programming in Python too. The reasons for the popularity of functional programming is mostly because of the following reasons,
1. Functional languages are,
- Higher-order functions
- Lazy evaluation
- Can contribute greatly to modularity.
Modularity is the key to successful programming. As software becomes more and more complex, it is more and more important to write well-structured code.
2. Concurrency is getting to be a real problem in programming because we’re getting more and more multiprocessor computers and the languages are getting more accessible. Whenever the programmer writes clean code that favours immutable objects, that code is borrowing functional concepts.it increased use of immutability and simpler parallelism will help more programmers see the benefits that the functional approach offers.
Features of OCaml
- Garbage collection for automatic memory management.
- First-class functions that can be passed around like ordinary values.
- Static type-checking to increase performance and reduce the number of runtime errors.
- Parametric polymorphism, which enables the construction of abstractions that work across different data types.
- Immutable programming.
- Automatic type inference to avoid having to laboriously define the type of every single variable in a program and instead have them inferred based on how value is used.
- Algebraic data types and pattern matching to define and manipulate complex data structures.