Understanding functional programming

Functional programming has a long history, and it is interesting to note the extent to which its fundamental principles are exerting an increasingly large influence on other, much younger programming styles. As programs become more complex, with increased use of multiple processing cores (and therefore parallel processing), concepts that were originally reserved for the likes of Haskell and Lisp are making an impact across a wide range of programming scenarios and languages.

We could have a lively and entertaining debate about the one true meaning of the functional in functional programming (which we shall henceforth abbreviate to FP), but space is limited, and a debate in a book tends to get a bit one-sided, ...

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