Sean O'Dell a ˝─rit :
> On Monday 12 July 2004 13:52, bruno modulix wrote:
> 
>>Hal Fulton a ˝─rit :
>>
>>>James Britt wrote:
>>>
>>>>>There *are* good, useful definitions of what constitutes a functional
>>>>>languages, and Ruby does not match the criteria for most of them.
>>>>>Probably the most fundamental of all criteria is that the language
>>>>>does not allow side-effects, such as assignment.
>>>
>>>We're OT now, but my ignorance of FP is such that I can't imagine
>>>a language without assignment.
>>
>>"without assignment" should in fact read "without re-binding". Binding a
>>value to a symbol is perfectly legal even in Haskell, but once bound,
>>it's for the lifetime of the symbol...
> 
> 
> I don't understand how assignment, or even just re-binding, effects the nature 
> of a functional programming language. 

If you can rebind a symbol then you have states and side-effects...

> From everything I remember about 
> functional languages, the only real evil was persistent data that could cause 
> function results to change from one call to another.  You're not supposed to 
> have operators in a functional language, like =, *, + and so on,

Please stop saying stupidities. Of course functional languages can have 
operators, as you would now if you had STFW. BTW, an operator is usually 
nothing more than syntactic sugar for a function call.

> so you can't 
> assign values "a=10" style, but you should be able to say set(a, 10).

Where is exactly the difference from a semantic POV ?

> What does assignment or even re-binding have to do with the "functional 
> nature" of a functional language?  Not a troll, I truly just don't see the 
> relationship between the two.

It has to do that the definition of a 'pure' fpl include the 
impossibility to re-bind a symbol.

Bruno