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Extra info for Think OCaml - How to Think Like a Computer Scientist
N" | _ -> wordˆ" is more than bananas. \n");; OCaml does not handle uppercase and lowercase letters the same way that people do. All the uppercase letters come before all the lowercase letters, so: # is_bananas "pineapple";; pineapple is more than bananas. - : unit = () # is_bananas "Pineapple";; Pineapple is less than bananas. 7. Debugging 53 A common way to address this problem is to convert strings to a standard format, such as all lowercase, before performing the comparison. Keep that in mind in case you have to defend yourself against a man armed with a Pineapple.
This means we use when to impose a condition on the pattern, like so: let sign i = match i with x when x < 0 -> -1 | 0 -> 0 | x -> 1;; Note that the last line is not guarded even though we don’t want all integers to return one. However, we have already eliminated all the cases we don’t want to return one, so there’s really no point in guarding this case. It will simply make it longer and harder to read. Additionally, if all patterns in a pattern-matching are guarded, you’ll get a warning message telling you it’s bad style.
In practice it is not always clear what the “middle of the program” is and not always possible to check it. It doesn’t make sense to count lines and find the exact midpoint. Instead, think about places in the program where there might be errors and places where it is easy to put a check. Then choose a spot where you think the chances are about the same that the bug is before or after the check. 2 To test the square root algorithm in this chapter, you could compare it with sqrt. Write a function named test_square_root that prints a table something like this: 48 Chapter 6.