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Functional vs Object-Oriented Programming

Object-oriented programming is a much more natural way for human programmers to model their computational solutions. Humans deal with the world around them in terms of objects.

Most people would struggle to model the world around them in functional terms. This is perhaps why functional programming has failed to take the world by storm, but not for lack of trying.

Lisp first appeared in 1960. ML first appeared in 1973. Erlang first appeared in 1986. Haskell first appeared in 1990. Scala first appeared in 2004. F# first appeared in 2005. Clojure first appeared in 2007. Elixir first appeared in 2012.

And yet, today, the only functional programming language in the Top 20 is Scala. Nearly all the others are object-oriented.

While functional constructs have made their way into many major languages, the overall use of functional programming on a wholesale level is extremely modest.

Interesting factoid: The greatest object-oriented language in history, Smalltalk, is also deeply invested in functional constructs.


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