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The Third Cycle of the "Adventures of a Pythonista in Schemeland"

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Michele Simionato

Posts: 222
Nickname: micheles
Registered: Jun, 2008

The Third Cycle of the "Adventures of a Pythonista in Schemeland" (View in Weblogs)
Posted: Nov 30, 2008 12:51 AM
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Episode #12 closed my second cycle of Adventures. There will be a third cycle. However, now I have to write everything from scratch instead of translating from my original Italian series, therefore the publication rate will slow down. Here is some anticipation about the future.

Episode #12 closed the second cycle of my Adventures.

In that cycle I discussed at length Scheme macros, spending six episodes on the subject. However, there is so much to say about macros that six episodes are not enough to make them justice. Therefore I plan to write a whole new cycle to discuss the deeper aspects of macros, such as the hygiene issue, higher order macros and advanced macrology techniques. However, in this moment I think it is a good idea if I pause for a while from macros, in order to give to my readers some time to digest them.

The third cycle of the Adventures will concern a completely different topic: the functional features of Scheme. It should be easier to follow than the second cycle since nowadays functional programming is becoming popular (all scripting languages have some support for functional programming, a lot of functional constructs entered in the latest version of C#, Scala is getting traction in the Java world, etc.).

Still, there is a substantial difference between an imperative language with some support for functional programming and a truly functional language. A true functional language is based on functional data structures, has strong support for recursion (it requires tail call optimization), and for higher order functions, and it features pattern matching. Scheme has all of those things and more, since it is a multiparadigm language.

I will devolve the next episodes of the Adventures to the exploration of those topics. However, you will need to have patience since I have a few Python-related papers to publish first, and the third cycle will probably start next year.

Have fun!

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