Erlang / FP and Java

David Hopwood <>
Thu Jul 15 20:10:23 CEST 2004

Mickaël Rémond wrote:
> Hello,
> The functional paradigm is progressing even amongst Java developers ;-)

Well, amongst people who write articles aimed at Java developers :-)

> Here is an interesting article on IBM developerwork explaining how to  
> write functional programming oriented code in Java for modularity:
> Erlang is even mentioned.

The problems with trying to do functional programming in Java are that
(pre 1.5) it has a monomorphic, manifest static type system, and it
was not designed to have a concise syntax for closures. This leads to
verbose and difficult-to-read code that obscures the advantages of FP.
The examples in the article only serve to confirm this.

The generic types in Java 1.5
( may help slightly,
but I doubt they will help enough: to naturally support FP, a language
preferably needs Hindley-Milner-style type inference, or if not then
dynamic typing.

David Hopwood <>

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