Interesting talk on Python vs. Ruby and how he would like Python to have just a bit more syntactic flexibility.

Jonathan Gardner jgardner at
Tue Feb 23 05:35:15 CET 2010

On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 12:31 PM, John Bokma <john at> wrote:
> In my class there where basically 2 groups of people: the ones who got
> functional programming and the ones who had a hard time with it. The
> latter group consisted mostly of people who had been programming in
> languages like C and Pascal for years; they had a hard time thinking
> functionally. The former group consisted mostly of people who had little
> or no programming experience, with a few exceptions (including me :-) ).
> So I have the feeling it has more to do with your background then how
> people think / are wired.

That's encouraging. If functional programming is really more natural
to those who are less familiar with math and programming, then perhaps
there is a future for it.

Unfortunately, I don't know that just knowing how to program
functionally is enough. Even the functional folks have a hard time
optimizing routines (time or memory). Even with DBAs, they have to
know how the functional SQL query is translated into discrete machine

As it is now, the vast majority (all?) of the programmers who do any
programming seriously are familiar with the statement-based approach.
A minority understand let alone appreciate the functional approach.

Jonathan Gardner
jgardner at

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