[Haskell-cafe] Is Excel a FP language?

Lennart Augustsson lennart at augustsson.net
Wed Apr 25 15:50:22 EDT 2007

I usually refer to Excel as a zeroth order functional language, i.e.,  
you can't define any functions. :)
(You can define functions if you do it in VBA or in an addin, but  
that's not really Excel, imo.)

	-- Lennart

On Apr 25, 2007, at 04:00 , Tony Morris wrote:

> In a debate I proposed "Excel is a functional language". It was  
> refuted
> and I'd like to know what some of you clever Haskellers might think :)
> My opposition proposed (after some "weeding out") that there is a
> distinction between Excel, the application, the GUI and Excel, the
> language (which we eventually agreed (I think) manifested itself as a
> .xls file). Similarly, VB is both a language and a development
> environment and referring to VB is a potential ambiguity. I disagree
> with this analogy on the grounds that the very definition of Excel
> (proposed by Microsoft) makes no distinction. Further, it is  
> impossible
> to draw a boundary around one and not the other.
> I also pointed to the paper by Simon Peyton-Jones titled,  
> "Improving the
> world's most popular functional language: user-defined functions in
> Excel", which quite clearly refers to Excel as a [popular] functional
> language.
> The debate started when I referred to the fact that financial
> institutions change their functional language from Excel to something
> like OCaml or Haskell. Of course, there is no doubting that these
> companies can replace their entire use of Excel with a functional
> language, which I think is almost enough to fully support my position
> (emphasis on "almost").
> -- 
> Tony Morris
> http://tmorris.net/
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> Haskell-Cafe at haskell.org
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list