Simon Willison’s Weblog

In praise of functional programming

Via Joe Gregorio, Functional programming in Python Part 1 and Part 2. I’m reading Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs at the moment (available for free online, but I’ve got a library copy) and it has been getting me seriously interested in the functional programming paradigm. It’s also by far the most enlightening (in terms of “wow, that really makes sense”) computer science text book I’ve ever read. There’s something naturally elegant about the functional style, probably thanks to the encapsulation encouraged by the lack of global variables and the extensive use of recursion in functional code examples. It’s definitely true that exposure to a variety of programming styles encourages you to think about problems in different ways.

This is In praise of functional programming by Simon Willison, posted on 29th April 2003.

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