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Re: Re: Functional programming?

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

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