[concurrency-interest] Are functional languages so much better at concurrency?

Michael Hicks mwh at cs.umd.edu
Thu Feb 8 20:25:43 EST 2007

Check out a recent article in Queue by Sutter and Larus, which  
addresses the larger issue you are worried about (correctness for  
concurrent apps), and briefly addresses functional programming in the  
context of other solutions:

(the published version is at http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1095408.1095421)

You might also find STM Haskell to be of interest (a version of the  
Haskell functional programming language outfitted with software  
transactional memory, used to support atomicity): http:// 


On Feb 8, 2007, at 8:13 PM, serge masse wrote:

> Joel, from joelonsoftware, claimed twice that functional languages  
> are excellent for developing concurrent apps.
> He wrote twice that *purely functional programs have no side  
> effects and are thus trivially parallelizable.*
> He wrote this here, http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/ 
> 2006/08/01.html (a great intro to MapReduce, btw), and here: http:// 
> www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/ThePerilsofJavaSchools.html
> My experience with functional programs goes a long way back, circa  
> 1980s, and I do not seem to recall any significant advantages for  
> concurrency over current mainstream languages, for example, Java.
> Do you agree or disagree with Joel on this one?
> I'm searching for solutions to the problem of the huge difficulty  
> in developing bug free concurrent apps and your opinion would be  
> important to prioritize my search.
> thanks
> serge
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