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What I remember the uni was that functional languages don't have state. That is you have names (i.e. variables) and values - but you don't have memory locations (for the variables). This makes it a distinct computing model from languages that do have the notion of state, maybe calling them 'imperative' is kind of semantic overloading - but it is quite clear distinction. This distinction does not nullify their Church equivalence (i.e. that they can compute the same class of functions), but it might mean that algorithms written in them have different computational complexity.

As to assignments - same thing. Yes you can simulate a turing machine using a functional language, in terms of what they can compute they are equivalent, but they are not equivalent in terms of how you write programs in them. In functional languages you can simulate state with arrays - but it is easier to just use the language as it is. You can dig the same hole with a spoon as with a spade - but this does not make them equivalent, because with the spoon it would take you much more time.


In reply to Re: pissed off about functional programming by zby
in thread pissed off about functional programming by mstone

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    [Corion]: Nicholas Clark++ # read for a multichar block-delimiter by scanning for the last char, and only then check whether the whole delimiter was read.
    [Corion]: At least if you're appending the data read to a larger buffer, this means you avoid the situation of "a delimiter was found but the other half has not been read yet"
    choroba misses the context
    [Corion]: choroba: Optimizing how Perl reads source code on startup (and then processes it line-by-line)
    [Corion]: But in general, it seems to be an interesting approach I should think about - whenever I'm searching for something, to consider if I could search for the end of the token instead of the start of the token

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