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<The Rise of the Functional Paradigm ⁄ >




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In yesterday's address to the Ruby community, Dave Thomas invited Rubyists to fork Ruby, to freely research and experiment with new and interesting features. If this process is successful, many of these features will inevitably see their way back into Ruby's core, thus improving the language in leaps and bounds. And I feel he couldn't have been any more right. In fact, the whole industry is experiencing the trend of incorporating features developed in less common languages, research languages, "toy languages" if you prefer, within mainstream ones.

Experimenting with these alternative languages is important because occasionally they themselves become widely used, and even when they fail to do so, they lend their insight to the world of software development, finding their way into other languages. This approach greatly accelerates the development of common languages for the good of their large user bases and the improvement of the software industry. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved and for the development community as a whole.



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