This section contains chapters that discuss the background of functional programming. The chapters in this section are listed below.
“It takes a wise man to learn from his mistakes, but an even wiser man to learn from others.”
Once you get into FP, you’ll quickly start hearing the terms “lambda” and “lambda calculus.” The goal of this chapter is to provide background information on where those names come from, and what they mean.
Tomasita’s is a decent restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and they have a good description of the history of the margarita.
Here’s a nice 2009 article where Bill Venners interviews Martin Oderksy about the origins of Scala.
I’ve been interested in the Lisp programming language since I first learned about it, but in the books I’ve read about it, no author has explained the background of terms like
cdr, and S-expressions. Tonight I found this “History of Lisp” document, which explains the meaning of some of those names.
(If you’re really interested in those terms, this Wikipedia page describes them even more.)
The movie The Hidden Fortress is said to have a major impact on the Star Wars series. From Wikipedia: “George Lucas has acknowledged the heavy influence of The Hidden Fortress on Star Wars, particularly in the technique of telling the story from the perspective of the film's lowliest characters, C-3PO and R2-D2. Lucas's original plot outline for Star Wars also had a strong resemblance to the plot of The Hidden Fortress, which would be reused for The Phantom Menace.”
A website named digibarn.com has a collection of images and short stories they call Daniel Kottke’s Amazing Apple Relics. If you’re interested in Apple history it’s a nice little find.
If you think programming now is difficult, VisiCalc was written in assembly language for an Apple II. Here are a few words from this web page that describe this code:
Dan Bricklin, inventor/creator of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program for personal computers, has created this page of historical notes and images about his work. His work came long before my interest in computers and programming, so I enjoy reading about it from a historical perspective. He shows a TI calculator and very large state diagram on this page. I remember seeing calculators like that in stores, and the work he put into the state diagram looks like a modern mind map.
If you’re into history, it’s all very cool.