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Real World OCaml: Functional programming for the masses

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This fast-moving tutorial introduces you to OCaml, an industrial-strength programming language designed for expressiveness, safety, and speed. Through the book’s many examples, you’ll quickly learn how OCaml stands out as a tool for writing fast, succinct, and readable systems code.

Real World OCaml takes you through the concepts of the language at a brisk pace, and then he
Paperback, 510 pages
Published November 22nd 2013 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2013)
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Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Does what it says on the tin — this book focuses on teaching ocaml with lots of code examples that strive to be close to things you'd really do. The first major section discusses the language itself, which is quite thorough, and the second section is about practical patterns, like concurrency and when to use certain data types. The practicality extends to its use of Core, a replacement standard library, instead of trying to teach the language without any dependencies — that's not how you're goin ...more
Stefan Kanev
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a gem.

OCaml is a great language – I regret not learning it when I had more free time on my hands. It feels very reminiscent of Haskell, with two major differences – it's strict and it allows side effects. Those make reasoning about behaviour easier and removes the need for all that monad transformer nonsense. It's also very feature rich and it even has objects (although they are not as prominent as you would except, given that the O in OCaml stands for "Objective"). It seem to be th
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
(V2 prerelease)

Incredible introduction to most of the most important aspects of OCaml. Language features are generally motivated by examples and shown in context of complete programs. The book includes lots of different domain-specific examples and use of external libraries.

Be aware that most (all?) of the examples use/depend on the Base/Core libraries, which uses its own set of idioms that differ from the built in standard library. For the most part, this is actually a good thing, but this can
Piotr Kalinowski
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computers
This is a very thorough and practical introduction to the language. It goes pretty much through all the features of the language itself — from core language through first class modules, functors to the object system. The only thing missing at this point is authoring your own syntax extensions, but you have to draw the line somewhere, and I think that's a good place to stop.

The book does not use the small standard library delivered with the compiler, and for good reason. It focuses on one of the
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read the updated v2

This is a great book to learn the basics of OCaml.
It explains all of the basic concepts and goes beyond them.
It benefits hugely from the fact that it is co-written by people who are actively using and driving OCaml forward.

It also is a decent reference book for features of OCaml since the online documentation can be VERY BAD for beginners.
Ondrej Sykora
I might be a bit harsh, but based on all the positive reviews, I've expected much more of the book.

What you get is an easy introduction to the OCaml world that touches most of the aspects of software development in OCaml. However, when they approach a more complex topic, the authors just say "there is some magic going on", and they abandon it. For example the SExp library. I'd love to learn how it is implemented and how the compiler extension is developed, but the book does not touch any of that
Alvaro Tejada Galindo
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: programming
This book, just like all the "Real World" series gives you a deep introduction into the language and allow you to start coding pretty fast...of course...if you have used any Functional programming language before...that really helps and OCaml has of course some aspects that makes it not so easy to learn...

The more you read this book, the more you're going to like's a really nice language -:)

The book covers the basics like Lists and Patterns, Records, Variants and Error-Handling. But o
Kenneth Miller
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was good. My first book on OCaml, it was pragmatic enough to teach you the common gotchas, while also being straightforward and sufficiently organized that it can be used as a reference.
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