What is Functional Programming? Its History, Characteristics, Benefits and Limitations

Functional programming helps you avoiding shared state, mutable data that gets observed in Object-Oriented Programming. 

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Article Index:

1. Introduction

1.1 What is Functional Programming?

2. Characteristics of Functional Programming

3. History of Functional Programming

4. Some Prominent Functional Programming Languages

5. The Benefits of Functional Programming

6. The Limitations of Functional Programming

7. Conclusion

 

1. Introduction:

1.1 What is Functional Programming? 

Functional programming is a strategic plan for software constriction by creating pure functions. Functional programming helps you avoiding shared state, mutable data that gets observed in Object-Oriented Programming

This elegant programming technique emphasizes on declarations and expressions rather than executing a given set of statements. So, unlike other programming techniques or procedures which depend on a global or local state, functional programming relies on the set of arguments that get passed to a function. 

 

2. Characteristics of Functional Programming:

2.1 As mentioned above, functional programming is a strategic technique that focuses more on the results rather than the process.

2.2 The main motive or characteristic of functional programming is that it emphasizes more on the things which have to get computed.

2.3 In functional programming, the programmable data is fixed or unchanged. 

2.4 Functional programming further divides or breaks up the problems into simple functions. 

2.5 Functional programming gets built on the concept of mathematical operations and uses dependant expressions and recursions while performing calculations. 

2.6 Functional programming does not support repetitions such as loop statements and statements which show dependency like If-Else

 

3. History of Functional programming:

3.1 Functional programming gets based on Lamba Calculus. This programming technique got developed in the 1930s. The main reason why functional programming got developed was to assist people in areas such as technical definition, application, and recursion. 

3.2 The first programming language which got developed was LISP. This language got elegantly designed by McCarthy in 1960.

3.3 Researchers at the University of Edinburgh later developed the Meta Language (ML) in the late 1970s. 

3.4 Another programming language named Hope language, which primarily adds algebraic data types for equational reasoning and recursion got developed in the early 1980s.

3.5 Scala, which got considered as an ‘Innovation of Functional language’ got formulated in the year 2004.

3.6 Fortran, the most used functional programming language compared to others, got developed by IBM in the 1950s. 

 

4. Some Prominent Functional Programming Languages:

The main objective or feature of any functional programming language is to replicate the mathematical operations or functions. But, the essential process of computation is divergent in functional programming.

Some prominent functional programming languages have got mentioned below:

1. Fortran

2. LISP

3. SML

4. SQL

5. F#

6. Haskell

7. Scala

8. Clojure

9. Clean

10. Erlang

11. XSLT

12. Mathematica

13. ML/ Scheme

 

5. The Benefits of Functional Programming:

5.1 Functional programming helps you in avoiding complex problems while computation and solving errors in the code. 

5.2 It accomplishes Unit Testing and debugs the FP code and is very quick and more comfortable to test.

5.3 Functional programming encloses some salient features such as concurrency and parallel processing. 

5.4 It also houses some exquisite features, such as fault tolerance and hot code deployment.

5.5 Functional programming technique provides you high modularity with a smaller code. 

5.6 By using functional programming, a developer can increase his productivity to a higher level.

5.7 Functional programming is such an ergonomic programming technique as it provides support to Nested Functions. 

5.8 It also provides functional constructs such as lists, lazy maps, and many others. 

5.9 Functional Programming is the only programming technique that provides an adequate allowance in the use of Lambda Calculus. 

 

6. The Limitations of Functional Programming:

6.1 Though Functional programming gets considered a more natural technique, it is quite tricky for beginners to grasp or learn quickly. 

6.2 It is tough to maintain sanctity in Functional programming as most of the objects revolve around while coding. 

6.3 Functional programming needs extensive environmental Setu along with lots of mocking. 

6.4 One of the most significant drawbacks of Functional programming is that the re-use of this technique is very complicated and needs constant refactoring time-to-time. 

6.5 Some of the objects present in Functional programming do not portray the given problem accurately.

 

7. Conclusion:

7.1 As mentioned above. Functional programming uses some fundamental definitive principles and thinks of ways about software construction. 

7.2 Moreover, it never focuses on the process, and its prime focus always is the final result. We have also listed some of the prominent Functional programming languages which get used by most of the people nowadays. 

7.3 The main feature of any Functional programming language is to replicate the mathematical functions. 

7.4 Functional programming uses Immutable data, whereas other programming methods or styles use Mutable data. Immutable data is the easy creation of data structures instead of modifying the data structures which already exist. 

7.5 Though it is difficult to understand for a beginner at the early stages, with the flowing of time, he can become a master in Functional programming due to its speed, easiness in use, and lightness

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Shreyas
Shreyas
Hello, this is Shreyas A. Being a mechanical engineer by profession, he loves content writing as it has been his passion driven till now. He loves writing on various topics such as General Knowledge, Travel, Politics with Technical Writing being his strong forte. He also loves to try out writing on different subjects which aren't explored till now 🙂

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