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Re: Mathematica daily WTF

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  • Subject: [mg115233] Re: Mathematica daily WTF
  • From: DrMajorBob <btreat1 at>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 18:50:23 -0500 (EST)

I totally agree that functional programming is easier to write,  
understand, and reuse.

I was only saying that either style can be done well, or done badly.


On Tue, 04 Jan 2011 03:23:52 -0600, Bill Rowe <readnews at>  

> On 1/3/11 at 9:11 AM, btreat1 at (DrMajorBob) wrote:
>> Procedural code can be written particularly badly... and so can
>> functional code.
>> For elegance, efficiency, and readability, both depend on a good
>> programmer's consistent style.
>> Functional code, in addition, needs good names for its functions.
> Certainly, this is all true. But even with well written code, I
> find functional code easier to understand than procedural code.
> If I write f[x], it is immediately apparent the result is a
> function f with argument x regardless of what function f is.  If
> I write the procedural equivalent it is often far less obvious
> as to what is being done particularly if the procedural
> equivalent involves nested For loops.
> In another post in this thread Andrzej described functional code
> as being like a box with an input and output and procedural code
> as being something corresponds much closer to what the computer
> actually does. To me, this is the essence of the difference in
> understanding both styles (assuming well written code).
> With functional code, it is easier to see the "big picture" of
> what is happening while the details are often obscured. With
> procedural code, the details are much more apparent but it takes
> something more to get the "big picture". To me, understanding
> the purpose of code means getting the "big picture" and is not
> in the details.

DrMajorBob at

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