### An introduction to functional programming through lambda-calculus

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It's just what I try to do. The implementation is also an important point. Not only this implementation works like what I understand to be a Turing machine, but it works fine in a wiki context where quoting words and bracketing sentences would be unacceptable. I find this "inverted" implementation worthwhile, from the both theoretical and practical points of view. Lambda Calculus is perhaps the Maxwell's equations of computability , not of the computer field.

What Kay might have meant is that Lisp is the Maxwell's equations of programming a computer to do something useful. Lambda Calculus doesn't even have numbers; you either have to build them out of functions, or else extend Lambda Calculus with numeric terms. Lambda Calculus doesn't have eval or quote , and if it did, they wouldn't work because Lambda Calculus doesn't have a data structure representing Lambda Calculus source code. Lambda Calculus also lacks practicalities like assignable variables, which are part of computer science and mutable data structures in general. If customary notations are to be used externally, translation programs must be written.

Thus most LISP programs use a prefix notation for algebraic expressions, because they usually must determine the main connective before deciding what to do next. In this LISP differs from almost every other symbolic computation system. SNOBOL operates on character strings but is neutral on how character strings are used to represent symbolic information.

This feature probably accounts for LISP's success in competition with these languages, especially when large programs have to be written.

The advantage is like that of binary computers over decimal - but larger. It's not intended to impress anybody. I write the result first, an unreadable lambda-calc expression, then I explain the making of in few lines easier to understand, IMHO, than what I could see elsewhere.

## An introduction to functional programming through Lambda calculus - Greg Michaelson - Google книги

Did I missed something in the explanations? It's easier to formally reason about a program that is specified in a small formal language than one that is sloppy, big, and leaks state, yes. When you can formally reason about a program you can prove correctness. And that's the ultimate goal. Minified JavaScript is not a fair comparison either. You can write scheme and lisp programs that are very readable. We have abstractions and large languages so that humans can better understand the intent of a program. Isn't that exactly what this post is about, making a more readable lambda calculus interpreter?

Thanks for your interest.

## An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus

The problem is, functional programming languages are almost always harder to read than other languages. Haskell is the obvious example, but Lisp is pretty bad too.

It takes a bit of experience to be able to refactor in the middle of a Lisp block without messing up the balancing of the parentheses. Yes, it can be learned, and it can be learned faster than people expect. But the barrier to entry is much higher than it is for most languages. By the way, I love both Haskell and Lisp, and I think more people should use them.

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But I'm not going to pretend it's easy get started working with those languages. F and other languages ML-style syntax are probably the easiest to read. Depends on what is "easy" for you. Haskell is syntactically dense and can be obtuse in the hands of many authors, but on the other hand I find it easier to read well written Haskell because it's easier to break down into chunks. Similar for Lisp, keeping track of parentheses can be annoying but the regularity of S-expressions make it pretty easy to follow syntactically.

## An Introduction to the Lambda Calculus

I do agree it can be hard to get started in Haskell though not so much Lisp, especially Scheme , but I think that's for other reasons that aren't really dependent on the syntax or readability. Click OK to close the Internet Options popup. Chrome On the Control button top right of browser , select Settings from dropdown.

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### What Makes Functional Programming “Functional”?

This well-respected text offers an accessible introduction to functional programming concepts and techniques for students of mathematics and computer science. Numerous exercises appear throughout the text, and all problems feature complete solutions. Select Parent Grandparent Teacher Kid at heart. Age of the child I gave this to:. Functional programming is rooted in lambda calculus, which constitutes the world's smallest programming language. This well-respected text offers an accessible introduction to functional programming concepts and techniques for students of mathematics and computer science.

The treatment is as nontechnical as possible, and it assumes no prior knowledge of mathematics or functional programming.

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Cogent examples illuminate the central ideas, and numerous exercises appear throughout the text, offering reinforcement of key concepts. All problems feature complete solutions. Customer Reviews. Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product. Email address. Please enter a valid email address. Walmart Services. Get to Know Us.

### Fler böcker av Greg Michaelson

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