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This past winter I implemented a version of Lispkit LISP
in Java. Lispkit is based on the book Functional Programming by P. Henderson. In it, he describes how to implement a purely functional version of LISP. It's a pretty stripped down version, no frills, but very servicable for learning. I decided to try and implement it in Java mainly to brush up on my Java skills. Java isn't an ideal language for doing this sort of things. Actually, this is the second time I built a version of Lispkit. The first time was a version in Pascal about 15 years ago for a column my wife and I wrote for AI Expert called AI Apprentice. That version is still floating arount the web. The Java version is available to anyone who wants it. Just email me.
I've been interested in functional programming
for a while. What got me thinking about it today was an article on /. about a bug in Microsoft Word.
It was a nasty bug complicated by the fact that there are independent forks of Word for Mac and Windows. What has me wondering is, would this whole process be made easier if a functional approach was used. Can a word processor be written in a functional language? Or is something like this inherently beyond what the functional approach can handle.? I'm going to try and explore this over the enxt few months,
posted at 00:28:43 on 08/29/04
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