HVM / What is Functional Programming?

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2023-03-17 06:30:06

HVM, the High Order Virtual Machine, is a new, blazing fast runtime for functional programming languages that seems to have some pretty incredible potential for the future.

No garbage collector: Similar to Rust, HVM doesn't have a garbage collector. But it is able to accomplish this without requiring lifetime annotations.

Automatically parallel: Programs are automatically run across multiple threads as much as possible, without mutexes, RW locks, or atomic ref counts!

Insanely fast: Despite being extremely new, the radically new architecture for computation makes it faster than even mature compilers in some cases. With proper time and investment, its performance potential could be enormous, and might ( big might ) compare with Rust eventually.

Functional programming languages are one of two major groups of programming languages, with Imperative programming languages being the other group. Most people write imperative languages such as C, C++, Rust, JavaScript, Python, etc. Some functional programming languages include Haskell and OCaml, and a slew of others I'm not familiar with.

I'm going to make an attempt to explain this a little, but I'm very new to functional programming, so I may or may not do the best job. A cool perspective on the history of these two models and how they relate to each-other can also be found in the HighOrderCo Manifesto, which I also recommend reading.

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