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(Mostly) Functional Design?
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Date: 2005-07-18 (09:29)
From: Mark Meyers <kilfour@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] (Mostly) Functional Design?
This sounds like something I heard someone say about ten years ago standing 
on a soapbox... Only he was shouting about object oriented programming at 
the time. 

On 7/18/05, Robert Morelli <morelli@cs.utah.edu> wrote: 
> I've been lurking on this list for several years. This seems as good a
> time as any to delurk and jump on a soap box.
> I think you've put your finger on one of the main reasons functional
> languages have failed to attract significant use beyond a few niche
> areas.
> I contend:
> 1. The FP community tends to emphasize low level issues rather than
> the larger scale issues that concern most programmers. It is also
> inept at practical documentation and advocacy.
> 2. There isn't much of a theory of large scale functional design.
> At least, there is no consensus.
> 3. Point 2. is not the consequence of point 1.; it's not simply a
> matter of communication, but an instrinsic void in the FP paradigm.
> The FP paradigm is intrinsically poorly adapted to the kind of large
> scale design concepts that concern most programmers. Object oriented
> programming is a much better match, not because of a conspiracy of
> commercial giants in the software tool business, but because of
> intrinsic technical reasons. Functional programming is a niche
> technology ideally suited to simple domains like language tools and
> formal methods. It does not have much to say about complicated
> systems.
> Kyle Consalus wrote:
> > There are a wealth of resources related to object oriented design 
> techniques
> > (which can certainly be applied to OCaml), but I've been pretty much 
> unable
> > to find any good resources on large scale design of functional programs.
> > I realize that this is the sort of thing that develops over time with
> > experience.
> > Just the same, there is (most likely) a lot to learn and consider, and a
> > resource would be helpful. My recent uses of OCaml for fairly small 
> projects
> > have been effective, but a lot of things were cumbersome in the design
> > and I suspect that I may be thinking about it wrong.
> > So, could anyone suggest a good resource or perhaps weigh
> > in on their thoughts on the topic?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Kyle
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