Functional Languages


LISP - Scheme[*]


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** Lists in LISP are STRICTLY ordered by identifying their head item and their tail. That is, every list consists of a head and tail. Contrast this with an array where the ordering is irrelevant - so long as items can be stored and retrieved by the use of the index, the ORDER of the items in an array is not important.


The programming language LISP was developed by John McCarthy in 1958 as a language for list processing to be used in Artificial Intelligence. For a brief introduction click here. A German view of the history of LISP is here.


Scheme is a "modern" version of LISP that has added procedural style constructs such as "if-then-else" and "do-while", and particularly has added the assignment operation! Consequently Scheme is NOT a pure functional language. Scheme is getting a great deal of attention today since several well-known universities have begun to use it as their introductory language for freshman computer science majors!


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Last Updated 2002/03/31
© J.A.N. Lee, 2000