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

Steve Howell showell30 at
Tue Feb 23 06:11:25 CET 2010

On Feb 22, 8:35 pm, Jonathan Gardner <jgard... at>
> On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 12:31 PM, John Bokma <j... 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
> instructions.
> 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.

Hi Jonathon.  I understand three major programming paradigms--
imperative, OO, and functional.  My first instinct is always
imperative, as I just want the computer to *do* stuff.

I am not an expert in any paradigm and it is possible that I am
overlooking other major paradigms.

My gut instinct is that functional programming works well for lots of
medium sized problems and it is worth learning.

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