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Heron-Centric: Ruminations of a Language Designer
Associative Fold (i.e. Reduce) as a Primitive Operation
by Christopher Diggins
April 29, 2006
I still don't quite get it, shouldn't every new language support a primitive Reduce() operation in anticipation of the brave new parallel world?


So last I heard reduce() is still on its way out of Python 3000. I still don't get the rationale. Something about it making code hard to read. As far as I can tell, having a reduce() operation as a primitive means that a compiler can easily parallelize the code. Or am I missing something here? Hasn't Google proven that? And its not just Python that I am concerned about. What about Microsoft's CLI or Perl's Parrot or Java's bytecode? They all seem to be stuck in the single processor mode of thinking. I can't think of any good reason to not start embracing parallel operations at the lowest level.

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About the Blogger

Christopher Diggins is a software developer and freelance writer. Christopher loves programming, but is eternally frustrated by the shortcomings of modern programming languages. As would any reasonable person in his shoes, he decided to quit his day job to write his own ( ). Christopher is the co-author of the C++ Cookbook from O'Reilly. Christopher can be reached through his home page at

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2006 Christopher Diggins. All rights reserved.

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