More glossary items (was: Extending Python Syntax with @)

Cameron Laird claird at
Fri Mar 12 02:19:19 CET 2004

In article <i5t1501ljfh9qtks01o5gc5mtbc0looj8n at>,
David MacQuigg  <dmq at> wrote:
>months.  I took five years of calculus in college, and I still don't
>see the connection between lambda functions and calculus.
They're both about getting results.

Serious.  What you learned as "calculus" was earlier called
"the analytic calculus" or "the differential and integral
calculus".  It's about getting results (very roughly speaking)
that have to do with "smooth" properties (of shapes and motions,
let's say).  

Lambda is entirely different--except that it's also a calculus,
that is, largely expressible algorithmically.  Lambda happens
to be about computations.

There are other calculi--"quaternion calculus" and "vector 
calculus" are two not-too-uncommonly-heard ones.  Lambda and
the one you learned in college courses are much the most often
used in such references.

Cameron Laird <claird at>

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