On Sat, Feb 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM, Joe Niederberger <email@example.com>wrote:
<< SNIP >>
> Now, just to short circuit Kirby, I looked this up: > - ---------------------------- >
[ python docs ]
> - ----------------------- > > Yeah - OK... > > Cheers, > Joe N >
Yes, good to bring this up: there's a cultural divide (more a grammatical / conceptual divide) between the object oriented on the one hand, and the FPers ("functional programmers") on the other.
It all has to do with the evils of hidden state and side effects, and how strictly the language itself should police against them.
That cultural fracture is a bit frustrating because as soon as the publishers see a market for CS-enabled math, they come up against quarreling insiders who insist OO will ruin 'em for life as they won't get the FP gospel.
A religious war, blech.
Python is famously cosmopolitan, like the Netherlands itself (Holland (where the Dutch live)) and borrows / steals / uses / incorporates good ideas from a wide variety of sources: ABC, Icon, C, and Haskell to name a few. The latter is a darling of the FP world. You cited docs that recite some of Python's FP heritage.
Because I'm sensitive to all this fractious fracturing, I'm not stridently militant about "Python uber-alles" or any language "winning".
I think diversity is delicious and the ecosystem is all the more vibrant when many species and varieties are allowed to thrive and negotiate their mutual co-existence.
Python is a good entry point or grand central, as is Pascal's Triangle in another sense (a meeting ground of so many threads), but then go off and study something else, maybe a more conventional math notation from the pre-computer days (or a even less conventional one from then).