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  • Introducing functional programming constructs in non-functional programming languages

    - by Giorgio
    This question has been going through my mind quite a lot lately and since I haven't found a convincing answer to it I would like to know if other users of this site have thought about it as well. In the recent years, even though OOP is still the most popular programming paradigm, functional programming is getting a lot of attention. I have only used OOP languages for my work (C++ and Java) but I am trying to learn some FP in my free time because I find it very interesting. So, I started learning Haskell three years ago and Scala last summer. I plan to learn some SML and Caml as well, and to brush up my (little) knowledge of Scheme. Well, a lot of plans (too ambitious?) but I hope I will find the time to learn at least the basics of FP during the next few years. What is important for me is how functional programming works and how / whether I can use it for some real projects. I have already developed small tools in Haskell. In spite of my strong interest for FP, I find it difficult to understand why functional programming constructs are being added to languages like C#, Java, C++, and so on. As a developer interested in FP, I find it more natural to use, say, Scala or Haskell, instead of waiting for the next FP feature to be added to my favourite non-FP language. In other words, why would I want to have only some FP in my originally non-FP language instead of looking for a language that has a better support for FP? For example, why should I be interested to have lambdas in Java if I can switch to Scala where I have much more FP concepts and access all the Java libraries anyway? Similarly: why do some FP in C# instead of using F# (to my knowledge, C# and F# can work together)? Java was designed to be OO. Fine. I can do OOP in Java (and I would like to keep using Java in that way). Scala was designed to support OOP + FP. Fine: I can use a mix of OOP and FP in Scala. Haskell was designed for FP: I can do FP in Haskell. If I need to tune the performance of a particular module, I can interface Haskell with some external routines in C. But why would I want to do OOP with just some basic FP in Java? So, my main point is: why are non-functional programming languages being extended with some functional concept? Shouldn't it be more comfortable (interesting, exciting, productive) to program in a language that has been designed from the very beginning to be functional or multi-paradigm? Don't different programming paradigms integrate better in a language that was designed for it than in a language in which one paradigm was only added later? The first explanation I could think of is that, since FP is a new concept (it isn't new at all, but it is new for many developers), it needs to be introduced gradually. However, I remember my switch from imperative to OOP: when I started to program in C++ (coming from Pascal and C) I really had to rethink the way in which I was coding, and to do it pretty fast. It was not gradual. So, this does not seem to be a good explanation to me. Or can it be that many non-FP programmers are not really interested in understanding and using functional programming, but they find it practically convenient to adopt certain FP-idioms in their non-FP language? IMPORTANT NOTE Just in case (because I have seen several language wars on this site): I mentioned the languages I know better, this question is in no way meant to start comparisons between different programming languages to decide which is better / worse. Also, I am not interested in a comparison of OOP versus FP (pros and cons). The point I am interested in is to understand why FP is being introduced one bit at a time into existing languages that were not designed for it even though there exist languages that were / are specifically designed to support FP.

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  • Functional programming constructs in non-functional programming languages

    - by Giorgio
    This question has been going through my mind quite a lot lately and since I haven't found a convincing answer to it I would like to know if other users of this site have thought about it as well. In the recent years, even though OOP is still the most popular programming paradigm, functional programming is getting a lot of attention. I have only used OOP languages for my work (C++ and Java) but I am trying to learn some FP in my free time because I find it very interesting. So, I started learning Haskell three years ago and Scala last summer. I plan to learn some SML and Caml as well, and to brush up my (little) knowledge of Scheme. Well, a lot of plans (too ambitious?) but I hope I will find the time to learn at least the basics of FP during the next few years. What is important for me is how functional programming works and how / whether I can use it for some real projects. I have already developed small tools in Haskell. In spite of my strong interest for FP, I find it difficult to understand why functional programming constructs are being added to languages like C#, Java, C++, and so on. As a developer interested in FP, I find it more natural to use, say, Scala or Haskell, instead of waiting for the next FP feature to be added to my favourite non-FP language. In other words, why would I want to have only some FP in my originally non-FP language instead of looking for a language that has a better support for FP? For example, why should I be interested to have lambdas in Java if I can switch to Scala where I have much more FP concepts and access all the Java libraries anyway? Similarly: why do some FP in C# instead of using F# (to my knowledge, C# and F# can work together)? Java was designed to be OO. Fine. I can do OOP in Java (and I would like to keep using Java in that way). Scala was designed to support OOP + FP. Fine: I can use a mix of OOP and FP in Scala. Haskell was designed for FP: I can do FP in Haskell. If I need to tune the performance of a particular module, I can interface Haskell with some external routines in C. But why would I want to do OOP with just some basic FP in Java? So, my main point is: why are non-functional programming languages being extended with some functional concept? Shouldn't it be more comfortable (interesting, exciting, productive) to program in a language that has been designed from the very beginning to be functional or multi-paradigm? Don't different programming paradigms integrate better in a language that was designed for it than in a language in which one paradigm was only added later? The first explanation I could think of is that, since FP is a new concept (it isn't new at all, but it is new for many developers), it needs to be introduced gradually. However, I remember my switch from imperative to OOP: when I started to program in C++ (coming from Pascal and C) I really had to rethink the way in which I was coding, and to do it pretty fast. It was not gradual. So, this does not seem to be a good explanation to me. Also, I asked myself if my impression is just plainly wrong due to lack of knowledge. E.g., do C# and C++11 support FP as extensively as, say, Scala or Caml do? In this case, my question would be simply non-existent. Or can it be that many non-FP programmers are not really interested in using functional programming, but they find it practically convenient to adopt certain FP-idioms in their non-FP language? IMPORTANT NOTE Just in case (because I have seen several language wars on this site): I mentioned the languages I know better, this question is in no way meant to start comparisons between different programming languages to decide which is better / worse. Also, I am not interested in a comparison of OOP versus FP (pros and cons). The point I am interested in is to understand why FP is being introduced one bit at a time into existing languages that were not designed for it even though there exist languages that were / are specifically designed to support FP.

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  • Imperative Programming v/s Declarative Programming v/s Functional Programming

    - by kaleidoscope
    Imperative Programming :: Imperative programming is a programming paradigm that describes computation in terms of statements that change a program state. In much the same way as the imperative mood in natural languages expresses commands to take action, imperative programs define sequences of commands for the computer to perform. The focus is on what steps the computer should take rather than what the computer will do (ex. C, C++, Java). Declarative Programming :: Declarative programming is a programming paradigm that expresses the logic of a computation without describing its control flow. It attempts to minimize or eliminate side effects by describing what the program should accomplish, rather than describing how to go about accomplishing it. The focus is on what the computer should do rather than how it should do it (ex. SQL). A  C# example of declarative v/s. imperative programming is LINQ. With imperative programming, you tell the compiler what you want to happen, step by step. For example, let's start with this collection, and choose the odd numbers: List<int> collection = new List<int> { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 }; With imperative programming, we'd step through this, and decide what we want: List<int> results = new List<int>(); foreach(var num in collection) {     if (num % 2 != 0)           results.Add(num); } Here’s what we are doing: *Create a result collection *Step through each number in the collection *Check the number, if it's odd, add it to the results With declarative programming, on the other hand, we write the code that describes what you want, but not necessarily how to get it var results = collection.Where( num => num % 2 != 0); Here, we're saying "Give us everything where it's odd", not "Step through the collection. Check this item, if it's odd, add it to a result collection." Functional Programming :: Functional programming is a programming paradigm that treats computation as the evaluation of mathematical functions and avoids state and mutable data. It emphasizes the application of functions.Functional programming has its roots in the lambda calculus. It is a subset of declarative languages that has heavy focus on recursion. Functional programming can be a mind-bender, which is one reason why Lisp, Scheme, and Haskell have never really surpassed C, C++, Java and COBOL in commercial popularity. But there are benefits to the functional way. For one, if you can get the logic correct, functional programming requires orders of magnitude less code than imperative programming. That means fewer points of failure, less code to test, and a more productive (and, many would say, happier) programming life. As systems get bigger, this has become more and more important. To know more : http://stackoverflow.com/questions/602444/what-is-functional-declarative-and-imperative-programming http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb669144.aspx http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperative_programming   Technorati Tags: Ranjit,Imperative Programming,Declarative programming,Functional Programming

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  • What's The Difference Between Imperative, Procedural and Structured Programming?

    - by daniels
    By researching around (books, Wikipedia, similar questions on SE, etc) I came to understand that Imperative programming is one of the major programming paradigms, where you describe a series of commands (or statements) for the computer to execute (so you pretty much order it to take specific actions, hence the name "imperative"). So far so good. Procedural programming, on the other hand, is a specific type (or subset) of Imperative programming, where you use procedures (i.e., functions) to describe the commands the computer should perform. First question: Is there an Imperative programming language which is not procedural? In other words, can you have Imperative programming without procedures? Update: This first question seems to be answered. A language CAN be imperative without being procedural or structured. An example is pure Assembly language. Then you also have Structured programming, which seems to be another type (or subset) of Imperative programming, which emerged to remove the reliance on the GOTO statement. Second question: What is the difference between procedural and structured programming? Can you have one without the other, and vice-versa? Can we say procedural programming is a subset of structured programming, as in the image?

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  • Functional Languages that compile to Android's Dalvik VM?

    - by Berin Loritsch
    I have a software problem that fits the functional approach to programming, but the target market will be on the Android OS. I ask because there are functional languages that compile to Java's VM, but Dalvik bytecode != Java bytecode. Alternatively, do you know if the dx utility can intelligently convert the .class files generated from functional languages like Scala? Edit: In order to add a bit more helpfulness to the community, and also to help me choose better, can I refine the question a bit? Have you used any alternate languages with Dalvik? Which ones? What are some "gotchas" (problems) that I might run into? Is performance acceptable? By that, I mean the application still feels responsive to the user. I've never done mobile phone development, but I grew up on constrained devices and I'm under no illusion that there is a cost to using non-standard languages with the platform. I just need to know if the cost is such that I should shoe-horn my approach into default language (i.e. apply functional principles in the OOP language).

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  • How to make the transition to functional programming?

    - by tahatmat
    Lately, I have been very intrigued with F# which I have been working a bit with. Coming mostly from Java and C#, I like how concise and easily understandable it is. However, I believe that my background with these imperative languages disturb my way of thinking when programming in F#. I found a comparison of the imperative and functional approach, and I surely do recognize the "imperative way" of programming, but I also find it difficult to define problems to fit well with the functional approach. So my question is: How do I best make the transition from object-oriented programming to functional programming? Can you provide some tips or perhaps provide some literature that can help one to think "in functions" in general?

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  • Should I pick up a functional programming language?

    - by Statement
    I have recently been more concerned about the way I write my code. After reading a few books on design patterns (and overzealous implementation of them, I'm sure) I have shifted my thinking greatly toward encapsulating that which change. I tend to notice that I write less interfaces and more method-oriented code, where I love to spruce life into old classes with predicates, actions and other delegate tasks. I tend to think that it's often the actions that change, so I encapsulate those. I even often, although not always, break down interfaces to a single method, and then I prefer to use a delegate for the task instead of forcing client code to create a new class. So I guess it then hit me. Should I be doing functional programming instead? Edit: I may have a misconception about functional programming. Currently my language of choice is C#, and I come from a C++ background. I work as a game developer but I am currently unemployed. I have a great passion for architecture. My virtues are clean, flexible, reusable and maintainable code. I don't know if I have been poisoned by these ways or if it is for the better. Am I having a refactoring fever or should I move on? I understand this might be a question about "use the right tool for the job", but I'd like to hear your thoughts. Should I pick up a functional language? One of my fear factors is to leave the comfort of Visual Studio.

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  • Should "closed as duplicate" software programming be extreme or functional? [migrated]

    - by Web Developer
    I'm a web developer loving this site for it's potential, and it's Coffee look . I was reading a great question, that is this: click here and noticed 8 moderators tagged it as DUPLICATED! The question was closed! Obviously it isn't and I'm going to explain why if needed but it can be seen: the question is unique, is the case/story of a young who have SPECIFIC experience with C++ , VB and Assembler and asking, knowing this specifications an answer (It is not a general question like "hey I'm young can I do the programmer??") Let me know your opinion! do you think this question should or should not be closed? And let's think about also the people not only the "data" and "cases covered" ... do you think this is important too? or is better to keep a place where people doesn't count?

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  • Is functional programming a superset of object oriented?

    - by Jimmy Hoffa
    The more functional programming I do, the more I feel like it adds an extra layer of abstraction that seems like how an onion's layer is- all encompassing of the previous layers. I don't know if this is true so going off the OOP principles I've worked with for years, can anyone explain how functional does or doesn't accurately depict any of them: Encapsulation, Abstraction, Inheritance, Polymorphism I think we can all say, yes it has encapsulation via tuples, or do tuples count technically as fact of "functional programming" or are they just a utility of the language? I know Haskell can meet the "interfaces" requirement, but again not certain if it's method is a fact of functional? I'm guessing that the fact that functors have a mathematical basis you could say those are a definite built in expectation of functional, perhaps? Please, detail how you think functional does or does not fulfill the 4 principles of OOP.

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  • Modern programming language with intuitive concurrent programming abstractions

    - by faif
    I am interested in learning concurrent programming, focusing on the application/user level (not system programming). I am looking for a modern high level programming language that provides intuitive abstractions for writing concurrent applications. I want to focus on languages that increase productivity and hide the complexity of concurrent programming. To give some examples, I don't consider a good option writing multithreaded code in C, C++, or Java because IMHO my productivity is reduced and their programming model is not intuitive. On the other hand, languages that increase productivity and offer more intuitive abstractions such as Python and the multiprocessing module, Erlang, Clojure, Scala, etc. would be good options. What would you recommend based on your experience and why?

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  • Advice on learning programming languages and math.

    - by Joris Ooms
    I feel like I'm getting stuck lately when it comes to learning about programming-related things; I thought I'd ask a question here and write it all down in the hope to get some pointers/advice from people. Perhaps writing it down helps me put things in perspective for myself aswell. I study Interactive Multimedia Design. This course is based on two things: graphic design on one hand, and web development on the other hand. I have quite a decent knowledge of web-related languages (the usual HTML/JS/PHP) and I'll be getting a course on ASP.NET next year. In my free time, I have learnt how to work with CodeIgniter, aswell as some diving into Ruby (and Rails) and basic iOS programming. In my first year of college I also did a class on Java (19/20 on the end result). This grade doesn't really mean anything though; I have the basics of OOP down but Java-wise, we learnt next to nothing. Considering the time I have been programming in, for example, PHP.. I can't say I'm bad at it. I'm definitely not good or great at it, but I'm decent. My teachers tell me I have the programming thing down. They just tell me I should keep on learning. So that's what I do, and I try to take in as much as possible; however, sometimes I'm unsure where to start and I have this tendency to always doubt myself. Now, for the 'question'. I want to get into iOS programming. I know iOS programming boils down to programming in Cocoa Touch and Objective-C. I also know Obj-C is a superset of C. I have done a class on C a couple of years ago, but I failed miserably. I got stuck at pointers and never really understood them.. Until like a month ago. I suddenly 'got' it. I have been working through a book on Objective-C for a week or so now, and I understand the basics (I'm at like.. chapter 6 or so). However, I keep running into similar problems as the ones I had when I did the C class: I suck at math. No, really. I come from a Latin-Modern Languages background in high school and I had nearly no math classes back then. I wanted to study Computer Science, but I failed there because of the miserable state of my mathematics knowledge. I can't explain why I'm suddenly talking about math here though, because it isn't directly related to programming.. yet it is. For example, the examples in the book I'm reading now are about programming a fraction-calculator. All good, I can do the programming when I get the formulas down.. but it takes me a full day or more to actually get to that point. I also find it hard to come up with ideas for myself. I made one small iOS app the other day and it's just a button / label kind of thing. When I press the button, it generates a random number. That's really all I could come up with. Can you 'learn' that? It probably comes down to creativity, but evidently, I'm not too great at being creative. Are there any sites or resources out there that provide something like a basic list of things you can program when you're just starting out? Maybe I'm focusing on too many things at once. I want to keep my HTML/CSS at a decent level, while learning PHP and CodeIgniter, while diving into Ruby on Rails and learning Objective-C and the iOS SDK at the same time. I just want to be good at something, I guess. The problem is that I can't seem to be happy with my PHP stuff. I want more, something 'harder'; that's why I decided to pick up the iOS thing. Like I said, I have the basics down of a lot of different languages. I can program something simple in Java, in C, in Objective-C as of this week.. but it ends there. Mostly because I can't come up with ideas for more complex applications, and also because I just doubt myself: 'Oh, that's too complex, I can never do that'. And then it ends there. To conclude my rant, let me basically rephrase my questions into a 'tl;dr' part. A. I want to get into iOS programming and I have basic knowledge of C/Objective-C. However, I struggle to come up with ideas of my own and implement them and I also suck at math which is something that isn't directly related to, yet often needed while programming. What can I do? B. I have an interest in a lot of different programming languages and I can't stop reading/learning. However, I don't feel like I'm good in anything. Should I perhaps focus on just one language for a year or longer, or keep taking it all in at the same time and hope I'll finally get them all down? C. Are there any resources out there that provide basic ideas of things I can program? I'm thinking about 'simple' command-line applications here to help me while studying C/Obj-C away from the whole iPhone SDK. Like I said, the examples in my book are mainly math-based (fraction calculator) and it's kinda hard. :( Thanks a lot for reading my post. I didn't plan it to be this long but oh well. Thanks in advance for any answers.

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  • How do functional programming languages work?

    - by eSKay
    I was just reading this excellent post, and got some better understanding of what exactly object oriented programming is, how Java implements it in one extreme manner, and how functional programming languages are a contrast. What I was thinking is this: if functional programming languages cannot save any state, how do they do some simple stuff like reading input from a user (I mean how do they "store" it), or storing any data for that matter? For example - how would this simple C thing translate to any functional programming language, for example haskell? #include<stdio.h> int main() { int no; scanf("%d",&no); return 0; }

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  • how a pure functional programming language manage without assignment statements?

    - by Gnijuohz
    When reading the famous SICP,I found the authors seem rather reluctant to introduce the assignment statement to Scheme in Chapter 3.I read the text and kind of understand why they feel so. As Scheme is the first functional programming language I ever know something about,I am kind of surprised that there are some functional programming languages(not Scheme of course) can do without assignments. Let use the example the book offers,the bank account example.If there is no assignment statement,how can this be done?How to change the balance variable?I ask so because I know there are some so-called pure functional languages out there and according to the Turing complete theory,this must can be done too. I learned C,Java,Python and use assignments a lot in every program I wrote.So it's really an eye-opening experience.I really hope someone can briefly explain how assignments are avoided in those functional programming languages and what profound impact(if any) it has on these languages. The example mentioned above is here: (define (make-withdraw balance) (lambda (amount) (if (>= balance amount) (begin (set! balance (- balance amount)) balance) "Insufficient funds"))) This changed the balance by set!.To me it looks a lot like a class method to change the class member balance. As I said,I am not familiar with functional programming languages,so if I said something wrong about them,feel free to point out.

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  • Functional or non-functional requirement?

    - by killer_PL
    I'm wondering about functional or non-functional requirements. I have found lot of different definitions for those terms and I can't assign some of my requirement to proper category. I'm wondering about requirements that aren't connected with some action or have some additional conditions, for example: On the list of selected devices, device can be repeated. Database must contain at least 100 items Currency of some value must be in USD dollar. Device must have a name and power consumption value in Watts. are those requirements functional or non-functional ?

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  • Modular programming is the method of programming small task or programs

    Modular programming is the method of programming small task or sub-programs that can be arranged in multiple variations to perform desired results. This methodology is great for preventing errors due to the fact that each task executes a specific process and can be debugged individually or within a larger program when combined with other tasks or sub programs. C# is a great example of how to implement modular programming because it allows for functions, methods, classes and objects to be use to create smaller sub programs. A program can be built from smaller pieces of code which saves development time and reduces the chance of errors because it is easier to test a small class or function for a simple solutions compared to testing a full program which has layers and layers of small programs working together.Yes, it is possible to write the same program using modular and non modular programming, but it is not recommend it. When you deal with non modular programs, they tend to contain a lot of spaghetti code which can be a pain to develop and not to mention debug especially if you did not write the code. In addition, in my experience they seem to have a lot more hidden bugs which waste debugging and development time. Modular programming methodology in comparision to non-mondular should be used when ever possible due to the use of small components. These small components allow business logic to be reused and is easier to maintain. From the user’s view point, they cannot really tell if the code is modular or not with today’s computers.

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  • Learning functional programming [closed]

    - by Oni
    This question is similar to Choosing a functional programming language. I want to learn functional programming but I am having troubles choosing the right programming language. At the university I studied Haskell for 2 months, so I have a basic idea of what a functional language is. I have read a lot that functional programming change your way of think. I started to take a look to Clojure, which I like for several reasons(code as data, JVM, etc). What stops me from continue learning Clojure is that it is not a pure functional language and I am afraid of ending up using imperative/OO style. Should I learn Haskell or keep on learning Clojure? Thanks in advance P.D: I am open to any other language.

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  • Are closures with side-effects considered "functional style"?

    - by Giorgio
    Many modern programming languages support some concept of closure, i.e. of a piece of code (a block or a function) that Can be treated as a value, and therefore stored in a variable, passed around to different parts of the code, be defined in one part of a program and invoked in a totally different part of the same program. Can capture variables from the context in which it is defined, and access them when it is later invoked (possibly in a totally different context). Here is an example of a closure written in Scala: def filterList(xs: List[Int], lowerBound: Int): List[Int] = xs.filter(x => x >= lowerBound) The function literal x => x >= lowerBound contains the free variable lowerBound, which is closed (bound) by the argument of the function filterList that has the same name. The closure is passed to the library method filter, which can invoke it repeatedly as a normal function. I have been reading a lot of questions and answers on this site and, as far as I understand, the term closure is often automatically associated with functional programming and functional programming style. The definition of function programming on wikipedia reads: In computer science, functional programming is a programming paradigm that treats computation as the evaluation of mathematical functions and avoids state and mutable data. It emphasizes the application of functions, in contrast to the imperative programming style, which emphasizes changes in state. and further on [...] in functional code, the output value of a function depends only on the arguments that are input to the function [...]. Eliminating side effects can make it much easier to understand and predict the behavior of a program, which is one of the key motivations for the development of functional programming. On the other hand, many closure constructs provided by programming languages allow a closure to capture non-local variables and change them when the closure is invoked, thus producing a side effect on the environment in which they were defined. In this case, closures implement the first idea of functional programming (functions are first-class entities that can be moved around like other values) but neglect the second idea (avoiding side-effects). Is this use of closures with side effects considered functional style or are closures considered a more general construct that can be used both for a functional and a non-functional programming style? Is there any literature on this topic? IMPORTANT NOTE I am not questioning the usefulness of side-effects or of having closures with side effects. Also, I am not interested in a discussion about the advantages / disadvantages of closures with or without side effects. I am only interested to know if using such closures is still considered functional style by the proponent of functional programming or if, on the contrary, their use is discouraged when using a functional style.

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  • Difference between extensible programming and extendible programming?

    - by loudandclear
    What exactly is the different between "extensible programming" and "extendible programming?" Wikipedia states the following: The Lisp language community remained separate from the extensible language community, apparently because, as one researcher observed, any programming language in which programs and data are essentially interchangeable can be regarded as an extendible [sic] language. ... this can be seen very easily from the fact that Lisp has been used as an extendible language for years. If I'm understanding this correctly, it says "Lisp is extendible implies Lisp is not extensible". So what do these two terms mean, and how do they differ?

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  • Composing programs from small simple pieces: OOP vs Functional Programming

    - by Jay Godse
    I started programming when imperative programming languages such as C were virtually the only game in town for paid gigs. I'm not a computer scientist by training so I was only exposed to Assembler and Pascal in school, and not Lisp or Prolog. Over the 1990s, Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) became more popular because one of the marketing memes for OOP was that complex programs could be composed of loosely coupled but well-defined, well-tested, cohesive, and reusable classes and objects. And in many cases that is quite true. Once I learned object-oriented programming my C programs became better because I structured them more like classes and objects. In the last few years (2008-2014) I have programmed in Ruby, an OOP language. However, Ruby has many functional programming (FP) features such as lambdas and procs, which enable a different style of programming using recursion, currying, lazy evaluation and the like. (Through ignorance I am at a loss to explain why these techniques are so great). Very recently, I have written code to use methods from the Ruby Enumerable library, such as map(), reduce(), and select(). Apparently this is a functional style of programming. I have found that using these methods significantly reduce code volume, and make my code easier to debug. Upon reading more about FP, one of the marketing claims made by advocates is that FP enables developers to compose programs out of small well-defined, well-tested, and reusable functions, which leads to less buggy code, and low code volume. QUESTIONS: Is the composition of complex program by using FP techniques contradictory to or complementary to composition of a complex program by using OOP techniques? In which situations is OOP more effective, and when is FP more effective? Is it possible to use both techniques in the same complex program? Do the techniques overlap or contradict each other?

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  • Functional programming readability

    - by Jimmy Hoffa
    I'm curious about this because I recall before learning any functional languages, I thought them all horribly, awfully, terribly unreadable. Now that I know Haskell and f#, I find it takes a little longer to read less code, but that little code does far more than an equivalent amount would in an imperative language, so it feels like a net gain and I'm not extremely practiced in functional. Here's my question, I constantly hear from OOP folks that functional style is terribly unreadable. I'm curious if this is the case and I'm deluding myself, or if they took the time to learn a functional language, the whole style would no longer be more unreadable than OOP? Has anybody seen any evidence or got any anecdotes where they saw this go one way or another with frequency enough to possibly say? If writing functionally really is of lower readability than I don't want to keep using it, but I really don't know if that's the case or not..

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  • Data structures in functional programming

    - by pwny
    I'm currently playing with LISP (particularly Scheme and Clojure) and I'm wondering how typical data structures are dealt with in functional programming languages. For example, let's say I would like to solve a problem using a graph pathfinding algorithm. How would one typically go about representing that graph in a functional programming language (primarily interested in pure functional style that can be applied to LISP)? Would I just forget about graphs altogether and solve the problem some other way?

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  • Misconceptions about purely functional languages?

    - by Giorgio
    I often encounter the following statements / arguments: Pure functional programming languages do not allow side effects (and are therefore of little use in practice because any useful program does have side effects, e.g. when it interacts with the external world). Pure functional programming languages do not allow to write a program that maintains state (which makes programming very awkward because in many application you do need state). I am not an expert in functional languages but here is what I have understood about these topics until now. Regarding point 1, you can interact with the environment in purely functional languages but you have to explicitly mark the code (functions) that introduces them (e.g. in Haskell by means of monadic types). Also, AFAIK computing by side effects (destructively updating data) should also be possible (using monadic types?) but is not the preferred way of working. Regarding point 2, AFAIK you can represent state by threading values through several computation steps (in Haskell, again, using monadic types) but I have no practical experience doing this and my understanding is rather vague. So, are the two statements above correct in any sense or are they just misconceptions about purely functional languages? If they are misconceptions, how did they come about? Could you write a (possibly small) code snippet illustrating the Haskell idiomatic way to (1) implement side effects and (2) implement a computation with state?

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  • Why (not) logic programming?

    - by Anto
    I have not yet heard about any uses of a logical programming language (such as Prolog) in the software industry, nor do I know of usage of it in hobby programming or open source projects. It (Prolog) is used as an academic language to some extent, though (why is it used in academia?). This makes me wonder, why should you use logic programming, and why not? Why is it not getting any detectable industry usage?

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