[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: comp.lang.functional

In article <1797@skye.ed.ac.uk> jeff@aiai.UUCP (Jeff Dalton) writes:
>In article <1619@husc6.harvard.edu> carlton@husc4.harvard.edu (david carlton) writes:
>>What do people think about creating a comp.lang.functional news groups, for
>>the discussion of functional programming languages? 
>I'm in favor.  Indeed, I was surprised that there wasn't such a group
>already.  The only problem would be if we later wanted a ML group,
>say.  Should it have to be comp.lang.functional.ml?

I'm tentatively in favor too; however, "functional" is about the most
ambivalent, and consequently useless, term in programming languages.
The two common (often incompatible) views seem to be

i) A language which has higher-order functions;
ii) Ditto, but which very definitely eschews "assignment."

In apparent contrast, "imperative" languages support "assignment," and
are perceived oftentimes, why, I don't know, as definitely having no
higher-order functions (procedures).

Thus we have the paradox of Scheme and ML being both "imperative"
("non-functional," taking definition ii)) as well as "functional"
(taking definition i)).

It may be we should choose another name.  

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles.