Blogger: Richard Watson
If you missed them this year, have a quick glance through the Jolt award winners. The Jolt awards represent something of a zeitgeist in the application development world, so it's always interesting to see who has taken the gongs.
Real World Haskell winning the technical book prize reflects a real trend. I can contribute a data point here: the functional language sessions at QCon London a week ago were packed out. Anything involving Erlang, Scala, and Clojure was rammed and very buzzy amongst the delegates.
I tell people at every available point that my favourite computing text is still "The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" by Abelson, Sussman and Sussman. I believed when I read it first in 1990 and even more now that pure functional programming (i.e., no side effects) is one of the ways we can use application architecture to take advantage of multicore systems.
Steve Vinoski's new "functional web" column for Internet Computing gives an introduction to some of the reasons for the resurgence of functional programming. So, we're all looking forward to Kirk Knoernschild's upcoming paper on language choice. Is the time right for functional languages to cross the chasm from niche into mainstream?