[gambit-list] xkcd: Functional

David Rush kumoyuki at gmail.com
Mon Sep 30 18:34:55 EDT 2013

On 30 September 2013 16:44, Jeff Read <bitwize at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 27, 2013 2:12 PM, "Marc Feeley" <feeley at iro.umontreal.ca> wrote:
> > Cute.  However, tail-recursion is not a feature of functional
> programming languages in general.  In fact, Scheme (and assembler!) are the
> only languages I know where tail-recursion is guaranteed.
> >
> "Functional programming" these days usually implies a strong type system,
> laziness, and purity. In other words it usually means "Haskell". And
> Haskell, afaik, does guarantee TCO, as do the ML.

I beg to differ, although I am not prepared to quibble. FP means that the
primary abstraction mechanism is the function (and I found the xkcd really
annoying because it completely missed the point), than which there is no
better mechanism for the separation of concerns. TCO is not required
(witness CL's DO notation), nor are a statically determined types which are
enforced at compile-time (e.g. every Lisp ever). And w/rt TCO, I'm not sure
that concept even makes sense for a normal-order reduction system like
Haskell. Normal order reduction is closer to a dataflow graph traversal
than a stack machine...

david rush
GPG Public key at http://cyber-rush.org/drr/gpg-public-key.txt
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