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Re: OO versus RDB

From: Tony D <>
Date: 9 Jul 2006 15:38:17 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Marshall wrote:

> It may not be to everyone's taste. But I wouldn't agree that
> it is a horror. It strikes me that SML is an example of
> what I describe and it seems to be doing all right for itself.

Hmmm... even there, the existence of imperative type variables has been the source of trouble, leading to changes between the definitions of SML '90 and SML '97 to cope. The question is, are the imperative features worth the trouble ?

> There are disadvantages to insisting on purity in all things.
> Peter Van Roy does a good job of considering a variety
> of programming paradigms and comparing their strengths
> and weaknesses, and he has demonstrated that purely
> functional programming suffers from reduced modularity
> compared to imperative; this is beyond the usual, potentialy
> missing-the-point arguments about performance.

Now this is interesting, as (to me) it flies in the face of intuition. If we have two languages, one of them being one where we can guarantee that no piece of code can have an unexpected impact on another, and the other language being one where we cannot offer that guarantee, it seems reasonable to me that the first would be a better choice for modular programming. Given that a purely functional language can offer that guarantee, what makes Van Roy decide that modularity is reduced in such languages ?

> Nonetheless, I think functional programming should be
> the default choice, because it's the easiest to reason
> about. I just don't think we should toss out imperative
> entirely, because it has distinct value.

Barring complications, I remain to be convinced of that value.

[ snippage ] Received on Sun Jul 09 2006 - 17:38:17 CDT

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