Presentation: "Why Functional Programming (Still) Matters"

Time: Monday 17:00 - 17:50

Location: Store Sal

Abstract: In 1984, John Hughes wrote a seminal paper "Why Functional Programming Matters" in which he eloquently explained the value of pure and lazy functional programming. Due to the increasing importance of the Web and the introduction of multi-core machines, in the quarter century since the appearance of the paper, the problems associated with effectful imperative languages have reached a point where we hit a brick wall. We argue that fundamentalist functional programming, that is radically eliminating all side-effects from our programming languages, including strict evaluation, is what it takes to conquer the concurrency and parallelism dragon. We must embrace pure lazy functional programming "all the way", with all effects apparent in the type system of the host language using monads. Only a radical paradigm shift can save us, but does that mean that we will lose all current programmers along the way? Fortunately not. By design, LINQ is based on monadic principles. The success of LINQ proves that the world does not fear the monads.
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Architect Erik Meijer, Microsoft

Architect Erik  Meijer

Erik Meijer is an architect in the Microsoft SQL server division where he currently works together with the Microsoft Visual C# and the Microsoft Visual Basic language design teams on data integration in programming languages.

Prior to joining Microsoft he was an associate professor at Utrecht University and adjunct professor at the Oregon Graduate Institute.

Erik is one of the designers of the standard functional programming language Haskell98 and more recently the Cw language.