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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Functional Languages Beat Procedural/object-Oriented

software code, illustration

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Researchers at the University of Virginia and the University of California-Davis say they have completed a study evaluating the impact of programming languages on software quality, and found functional languages are superior to procedural/object-oriented languages in some respects. The team analyzed more than 700 GitHub projects containing about 63 million lines of source code.

The researchers note empirically assessing software quality is complex, shaped by numerous interacting variables. "By triangulating findings from different methods, and controlling for confounding effects such as team size, project size, and project history, we report that language design does have a significant, but modest effect on software quality," the team says.

Among their findings is that disallowing type confusion seems to offer an improvement over permitting it, while static typing is somewhat better than dynamic in functional languages. The team also found functional languages are associated with fewer defects than procedural/scripting languages, and that managed memory usage is better than unmanaged. The research is described in an article published in the October 2017 Communications of the ACM.

From Application Development Trends 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2017 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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