[LRUG] Thinking Functionally in Ruby

Tom Stuart tom at experthuman.com
Thu Oct 15 07:18:54 PDT 2009


The slides for my talk at last night's LRUG are now online at http://experthuman.com/files/thinking-functionally-in-ruby.pdf 
, and the winged monkeys from Skills Matter have got the video up at http://skillsmatter.com/podcast/ajax-ria/enumerators 
  if you want to see the animations.

Running out of time made me fumble my final point a bit: if you don't  
already know a functional language, you should consider learning one  
just to get your head around how to do useful work within the alien  
constraints it imposes (in exchange for the benefits they confer).  
Once your brain grows a functional mode you can easily transfer those  
skills back to Ruby even though it's much more permissive.

A few people asked me for language recommendations: any functional  
language is fine (e.g. by all means pick the one that your friend  
knows), but on balance I'd recommend Clojure for this purpose because  
it has a very smart and comprehensive treatment of mutable state  
that'll make you think carefully about whether you need to use state  
in the first place and what'll happen when you do.

Happy cake-making.


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