FP as far away as ever from the mainstream......

Richard A. O'Keefe <>
Tue Jun 22 03:02:08 CEST 2004


 (Mike Williams) wrote:
	In fact it still seems that Erlang is the only functional
	language which is making *any* headway in industrial /
	commercial applications.  And the FP purists don't like us
	because Erlang isn't strongly typed and totally "pure".
	
Now, what would you call a language which

 - has lazy evaluation for function arguments
 - has immutable data structures (so that
     a[i,j] <- f()
   is really and truly just syntactic sugar for
     a <- "[<-"(a, i, j, value=f())
    )
 - has (in one of its implementations) proper functional closures,
   so that closures can be the results of functions
 - has a reasonable collection of mapping/reduction functions

Doesn't that sound like a functional language?

It's the S programming language for statistics.  The commercial version
(S-Plus) isn't quite as functional as the open source version (R); it's
only the open source version which supports proper lexical scopes and
closures.  It isn't strongly typed, and it isn't totally "pure".

But it *has* had substantial headway in industrial/commercial applications;
you can do drug trial reporting using it, for example.




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