Closures march on toward mainstream
Functional programming is the conflation of several interesting and useful ideas, but to me, the big lesson mainstream programmers need to (and can fairly easily) learn from FP is closures. Closures have been around approximately forever and their merits are unquestioned among programming language geeks and Comp Sci nerds, but the proverbial “average programmer” still has no idea what they are.
And now, Java–yes, that Java!!—might get closures as well! It’s only a “proposal” at this point, but the authors are all heavy hitters: Gilad Bracha (co-wrote the JLS), Neal Gafter (father of javac), James Gosling (father of Java), Peter von der Ahé (currently works on javac).
Closures in Java… wow. It doesn’t get any more mainstream than that. Perhaps closures will be taught in introductory Java courses. The thought of it makes me smile.
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