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    Object-functional programming: Beautiful unification or a kitchen sink?

    Rahul Goma Phulore
    Rahul Goma Phulore
    schedule 2 years ago
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    60 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Scala began its life as an experiment to “unify” object-oriented programming and functional programming. Martin Odersky believed that the differences between FP and OO are more cultural than technical, and that there was a room for beautifully unify various ideas from the two into one simple core.

    How successful has Scala been in its goals? Is it the like “the grand unified theory of universe” or like the infamous “vegetarian ham”? [1]

    In this talk, we will see just how Scala unifies various ideas – such as type-classes, algebraic data types, first-class modules, functions under one simple core comprising of traits, objects, implicits, and open recursion. We will how this unification unintendedly subsumes many concepts that require seprate features in other languages, such as functional dependencies, type families, GADTs in Haskell. We will see how this has given a rise to a new “implicit calculus”, which could lay a foundation for next generation of generic programming techniques.

    We will see that this unification comes at a certain cost, wherein it leads to some compromises on both sides. However many of these trade-offs are particular to Scala (largely due to the JVM imposed restrictions). The goal of unification is still noble, and we need not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    [1]: https://twitter.com/bos31337/status/425524860345778176

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