Hey, I’m the author and a new Lobsters user. I somehow missed this post until now (the project got posted on several places at the same time).
Thanks for posting. As I mentioned on HN, I’ve been programming Scheme and other functional languages, and was really missing to be able to program more functionally on Perl. Now I got actually pretty far with a nice repl and various kinds of functional sequences, generic pretty-printing and comparison, and optional lazy evaluation to be able to do a lot of the same things as on Scheme (not all of them, there are no macros and no first-class continuations, but functional programming doesn’t depend on those).
The above probably means nothing to you if you’re a Perler without a functional programming background. In that case, maybe the selling point is to be able to do lazy lists, like Perl 6 offers, but in Perl 5. There’s more, too, though. I’ll still have to write some nice intros that show the advantages of pure functions so that you realize when they can be useful and where the tools from this project fit. You should give a “real” functional programming language (like Scheme, Haskell, OCaml, F#, Erlang) a try, though, too!
This is a bit misleading due to the long tradition of “Functional Pearl” papers which are short, self-contained FP papers showing an interesting property. It’s a relatively high bar for didactics… I wonder if this page is a good accidental homage.
Thanks for pointing that out. It’s definitely accidental, I didn’t realize the close naming (I noticed the term Functional Pearl in the past, but don’t explicitly remember having read any of the papers). Is it really deemed misleading, though? What should I do? In any case, the project attempts to provide for real pure functional programming, and gets pretty far with that, if that’s any consolation.
I’ll try to find the time to read some of the papers to get a feel for what it is about.
I suppose I should be more light in my commentary. It was misleading to me given my familiarity.
My advice would be to totally ham it up and make homage. It’s a great series of papers and a good pun :)