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New Meetup: Erik Meijer on "Fundamenalist Functional Programming"

From: Matt H.
Sent on: Friday, October 29, 2010 11:40 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for The San Francisco Bay Area F# User Group!

What: Erik Meijer on "Fundamenalist Functional Programming"

When: Wednesday, November 3,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Engine Yard
500 Third St Suite 510
San Francisco, CA 94107
(866) 518-YARD (9273)

The Bay Area Haskell User Group will host Microsoft's Erik Meijer, who will give his talk "Fundamentalist Functional Programming". I attended this talk at Stanford on October 13, and can recommend it. You don't need to know anything about Haskell or functional programming to benefit.

Erik might be known to you as the creator of LINQ and the Reactive Extensions for .NET. He's a fun and dynamic speaker.

Erik advocates for functional programming languages which don't have side effects and are lazy by default. This pretty much means Haskell, and a handful of academic languages. He'd be very much against what F# does here:

let square x =
printfn "This is a side effect."
x * x

If you look at the type of square, it's int -> int. The type system doesn't tell you anything about the side effect, and Erik would go so far as to say the type system is lying to us. (NB: lines 2 and 3 of the function should be indented, but Meetup isn't letting me do that.)

Please RSVP here on SF#'s meetup page, and also via SurveyMonkey as mentioned below. This way I know how many SF# members will be there, and Engine Yard knows how many people to expect.

There will be carpools from the South Bay. See below.

Here's the event description from Ivan Tarasov, of the Bay Area Haskell User Group:

Erik Meijer (Microsoft Research) is giving his talk ?Fundamentalist Functional Programming? at Bay Area Haskell User Group special meeting.

In 1984, John Hughes wrote a seminal paper titled, ?Why Functional Programming Matters,? in which he eloquently explained the value of pure and lazy functional programming. Due to the increasing importance of the Web and the advent of many-core machines, in the quarter of a century since the paper was written, the problems associated with imperative languages and their side effects have become increasingly evident.
This talk argues that fundamentalist functional programming-that is, radically eliminating all side effects from programming languages, including strict evaluation-is what it takes to conquer the concurrency and parallelism dragon. Programmers must embrace pure, lazy functional programming ?all the way?-with all effects apparent in the type system of the host language using monads.
A radical paradigm shift is the answer, but does that mean that all current programmers will be lost along the way? Fortunately not! By design, LINQ is based on monadic principles, and the success of LINQ proves that the world does not fear the monads.

To visit this talk you don't have to know Haskell, or any functional programming at all. Quite the opposite: the people who have to deal with imperative programming languages in their day jobs are the intended audience for this talk! Nevertheless, those experienced in functional programming should also enjoy this talk, as it will give some insights into how one can argue about functional vs. non-functional paradigms. And at last, Erik is an excellent speaker and his presentations are always very entertaining.

Please bring your friends and colleagues, especially those who are interested in what functional programming is all about, but need a small nudge to start learning about it. Also, please forward this email to those who may be interested in attending.

Contact cell (Ivan):[masked]
Host's phone (Larry):[masked]

Street parking is free in San Francisco after 6pm. Please come earlier to ensure you can find a parking spot before the talk starts.

The venue is in walking distance from Caltrain station (8 minutes) and Montgomery/Powell BART (15 minutes). Some people will be driving from South Bay, so if you need a ride, please monitor the follow-up discussion at BA Haskell Google Group (if you want to join the group and have a problem with CAPTCHA answer, please send me [Ivan] a personal message and I will help you).

Please RSVP on Facebook, or if you prefer RSVP using SurveyMonkey.

If for some reason neither of these work for you, please send me [Ivan] an email directly.

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