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<So Begins the Functional Revolution ⁄ >




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When I started learning Scala, I was convinced that its designers were positively the worst marketers I had ever seen. The official project page was (and is) peppered with Scala examples of things like quicksort, factoring, prime number sieves and so on. All of these examples were written in such a way as to be virtually incomprehensible to the average OOP developer. In fact, they all had a very simple common denominator which really set me off: they were written with a very functional flair.

Functional programming is an ancient and venerable tradition, dating back all the way to the days of Lisp and APL. In its purest form (ahem: Haskell), functional programming is the absence of side-effects. Everything in the language is some sort of declarative expression, taking some values and returning a result. This sweeping restricting has some fairly profound consequences. Consider the following ML function:



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