Flow based programming & python coding style

Carlos Ribeiro carribeiro at gmail.com
Wed Dec 15 15:30:07 CET 2004


Hi,

A friend of mine passed me some links about a great concept (not new
in fact, only new to me):

-- http://www.jpaulmorrison.com/fbp/
-- http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?FlowBasedProgramming

I found many of the explanations and examples strangely familiar. The
C2 Wiki contains a good discussion that draws parallels between FBP
and functional programming, although Paul Morrison is quick to point
ou the differences. It also strikes me how much of this "paradigm
shift" can be readily embodied in Python by using generators.

Since being introduced in the language, generators have been slowly
but surely making it into applications. To properly use generators
involve a big paradigm shift. Generator-based applications are async
in nature; they read & consume data in small chunks (iow, are
data-centric), are more responsive (because they tend to have a
quicker "setup time" to retrieve initial results), and have a big
potential to greatly minimize the memory requirements of an
application. If properly written, I'm sure they can also show a
performance improvement.

I think that, as generators get more and more accepted as "standard"
practice for Python programming, we will see a shift towards a "Flow
Based Programming" style; or at least, to a more data-centric view of
applications. I wonder how much of an impact this will have in the
"marketing" perception of Python. I personally believe that this may
represent a big opportunity for Python, specially with a good business
framework to support its application.

-- 
Carlos Ribeiro
Consultoria em Projetos
blog: http://rascunhosrotos.blogspot.com
blog: http://pythonnotes.blogspot.com
mail: carribeiro at gmail.com
mail: carribeiro at yahoo.com



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