[Haskell-cafe] A rant against the blurb on the Haskell front page

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Sat Oct 16 05:44:21 EDT 2010

  On 16/10/2010 09:02 AM, Stephen Tetley wrote:
> On 16 October 2010 08:09, Colin Paul Adams<colin at colina.demon.co.uk>  wrote:
>> And "purely functional programming language"?
>> If they mean anything to many people, it's that the language works
>> (i.e. functions). What language wouldn't work?
>> I think Ben has a strong point here.
> If a "functional language" doesn't mean anything significant then
> Haskell probably isn't the language you should be choosing.

By that rationale, I should never have chosen Haskell. (I'm really glad 
I did though...)

> In the UK some time before Haskell, I believe there was some effort to
> re-brand "functional programming" to "applicative programming" to make
> a distinction with functional - "actually works!" - and (first order-)
> functions in C or Pascal that were like procedures but returned a
> result. This was before my time, but I'm sure I saw evidence in
> reports at my old university library for grant proposals / research
> awards to put applicative programming on parallel machines.

I've always thought "function-oriented programming" (by analogy to 
"object-oriented programming") to be a far more illunimating term. But 
of course, as son as you do that, anybody who knows about "functional 
programming" will wonder if "function-oriented programming" is a 
different animal somehow... It seems that for good or ill, we're stuck 
with the existing terminology.

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