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

Brian Goetz brian at quiotix.com
Thu Feb 8 21:14:16 EST 2007


> Joel, from joelonsoftware, claimed twice that functional languages are 
> excellent for developing concurrent apps.

The side-effect-free property is indeed nice and makes a lot of 
concurrency problems just go away.  Programming in this style (heavy use 
of immutable objects, sharing as little state as possible) in stateful 
languages like Java also makes concurrency easier.

So, the question is, are functional languages better or worse for 
ordinary programming?  My innate confidence in the efficient market 
hypothesis tells me there's a reason that languages like C and C++ and 
Java and Perl and Python have been so successful; they are well-suited 
to the problems most programmers need to solve and map well to how most 
programmers think.  Functional languages, despite their obvious 
mathematical advantages, don't seem to have caught on in mainstream 
programming.


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