Re: Re: Functional programming?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg92023] Re: [mg92008] Re: Functional programming?
- From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl>
- Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 04:30:07 -0400 (EDT)
- References: <200809130957.FAA03536@smc.vnet.net> <email@example.com> <200809162326.TAA24780@smc.vnet.net>
On 17 Sep 2008, at 08:26, David Bailey wrote: > I feel there is another thing to say regarding FP. The fact that FP > performs so well in Mathematica is, in my opinion, something of a > fluke. > The real reason is that because Mathematica is such a high level > language, absolutely every step incurs considerable overhead, that is > not present in languages such as Fortran or Java. Because FP > provides a > way to do a lot in one step, it reduces this overhead. I don't think it is a fluke, but simply a consequence of the fact that Mathematica is or originated as a Computer Algebra System, and there is no doubt that functional programming is the most efficient and natural way to program in a CAS. I don't think there is any point even arguing about this so I just note that the first (at least I think it is the first) genuine CAS system did not even have its own programing language but used LISP (the paradigm of all functional languages), and one of Mathematica's main rivals, which uses a procedural programming language (in my opinion a pretty awful one), had functional constructs belatedly added to it. Andrzej Kozlowski