Why functional Python matters

Dave Benjamin ramen at lackingtalent.com
Wed Apr 16 04:05:58 CEST 2003

In article <yfsistfb5n9.fsf at black132.ex.ac.uk>, Alexander Schmolck wrote:
> Well it seems to me that you're currently *really* keen on functional
> programming. You can do that (and learn about it) much better in scheme than
> in python, so even if you want to program in python for the rest of your life
> afterwards it might well be worth it. I mean you wouldn't want to learn OO in
> C, would you -- there a fewer good ressources and it's just much more of a
> pain (this comparison is of course overly pessimistic -- C is just horrible
> and python really isn't).

Point taken. I followed that lecture notes link, by the way. Thanks for
sending that. It's interesting how the author begins by describing a GIF
viewer as an interpreter.

>> That's true, but then I have to name "bar". And part of the joy of FP is not
>> having to name *everything*. Naming things is important if you need to call
>> them up later, but it's a hassle to name intermediate values
> No argument here. I tend to think python would have been a better language if
> it had included something like smalltalk-like blocks from day 1 (I still
> really like python).

Are those anything like code blocks in Ruby? I think that's a cool idea...

> Yes but certainly not due to dynamic scoping (which python doesn't even have,
> as you can see from the raging Emacs thread). It now has non-crippled lexical
> scope :)

Thanks, I stand corrected. ;)


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