Violaine & Sylvain Website

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About myself

A brief tour of my life

As you should read, in my very short CV, i am an alumni of the Ecole Nationale Supérieur des Télécommunication in Paris and Ecole Polytechnique in Paris/Palaiseau. I really enjoy this formation which was dedicated to computer science.

As you can understand, one of my main interest is computer science and computer programming in particular. Even, if i am always a young computer scientist, regarding the year i spent in this field, i have already discovered and learned some OS and some programming languages. Today, i am trying to unravel the power of OCaml, Linux and Debian.

What is OCaml?

Obejctive Caml is a functional programming language. It has some interesting features:

  • really strong typing

  • type inference

  • static type system

  • incremental generational automatic garbage collection

  • functor

  • pattern matching

  • native and bytecode compilation

  • a natural way to write compiler

I really think that this language have a great future. It gather a good functional design and imperative features -- which are missing in other functional language. Program generated by OCaml are really fast [1].

If you want a glance of the future: look at INRIA OCaml website. Maybe you will discover your next language.

Linux and Debian

In year 2000, my Windows period was at an end. I discovered something else. But it takes me some times to find the way. I tried different things: Mandrake, Suse and a Debian. The mandrake distribution just killed her on her owns (some OS can commit suicide -- thanks to Windows Installer). With Suse, I discovered Yast2. I still think it is a good distribution. But one day, during an upgrade, i lost the ability to boot. I havenever known what has happened. I was pretty angry.

At this time, I discovered Debian. But it was a pretty hard and confusing distribution. From time to time, i get back to Windows. I really begin to use it, when i decided to get rid of Windows (in other words stop using my dual-boot). And i understood what is really important and useful in the linux world: distribution. The operating system is nothing compared to the huge software collection available for it. That is what I am interested in: the ability to setup a fully functional computer using only 1 CD (well, a DVD is now the norm).

Debian distribution just kills Windows. Consider how much installing and removing software in Windows is time consuming. It also waste the space on your hard drive and the time your computer take to boot. In other word, after removing a software, your computer is not the same as before installing it. This is not the case with Debian. The difference between before and after is really limited (to configuration file in fact). You can keep a Debian installation for years without needing to fully reinstall it. This is a real time saver.

Debian is a great library of software. All of these are well packaged and managed through an efficient update manager (apt). Today, other distributions have similar tools (and sometimes use apt itself). But Debian is still full of great idea for future tools.

[1] only OCaml program made my CPU warn me about thermal problem