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Anthony Adrian, “Bugs in Amber or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the IO Monad”

November 16 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm CST


Abstract: In Slaughterhouse V, Billy Pilgrim meets the Tralfamadorians, creatures that experience the world not as subject to the relentless passage of time but rather as a static four-dimensional whole.  The Tralfamadorians understand time itself as unchanging, much like any other geometric structure. Rather: “It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber.”

The world of side effects is the world we live in and care about when we use software: we query databases, deposit money, purchase movie tickets, and so on. In software development, the world of IO is much like the dynamic world of Billy Pilgrim: pregnant with possibilities; full of threats and promises.  And yet the world of pure functions is populated by changeless mappings of inputs to outputs. Perhaps our dynamic world of IO side effects is incompatible with functional programming, at least in its “pure” form. But what if instead we took a Tralfamadorian approach to software development? What if we suspended the treacherous world of IO in amber?

This talk will serve as a gentle introduction to programming IO side effects using a pure functional programming construct known as the IO monad. Throughout the talk we’ll cover the notions of side effects, pure and impure functions, and how the IO monad helps us achieve a functional programming goal of writing programs as values.

Bio: Anthony is a former academic philosopher who has stumbled his way into software development. He is enthusiastic about functional languages such as Haskell, Scala, and F#. He has been a practicing Emacs devotee for over 10 years. Somehow, all his interests start with the letter ‘p’: philosophy, photography, poetry, programming, and pizza.

Claude Rubinson is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Houston Functional Programmers
Time: Nov 16, 2022 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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November 16
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm CST



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