A romantic comedy: OO and FP

My magic ball predicts that OO and FP are going to take something of a “romantic comedy” path of evolution.

Act I. OO and FP are introduced at dinner parties and they could not seem more dissimilar and hilarious arguments ensue. No one goes home together. Despite the initial miss, the end of Act I finds OO and FP separately talking to friends about how they want the same things.

Act II. OO and FP run into each other at the coffee shop, and then again at the gym. OO is reading a book on ideas that FP loves. One of their friends invites them both to a bar, they get a little sauced and end up making out a bit. OO starts wearing FP’s jacket around town, even finding it a little comfortable. Towards the end of Act II, OO and FP are a bonfide thing, both borrowing ideas from each other. It’s pretty cute.

Act III. Open with a fight between OO and FP. It seems they just can’t come to agree on some important topic like mutability or the nature of behavior and state. Unfortunate and emotional words are uttered. The internet is abuzz with talk of the drama. They go back to their respective friends and rant about the shortcomings of the other. But, late at night, OO finds that not having FP around is less awesome than having FP around. OO cooks up a cooky plan to get FP back into their life. Hilarity, and a little awkwardness ensue. In the end, FP and OO go great together and we end with a montage of “everyone lived happily after” and see a clip that alludes to an OO/FP baby on the way.

If you’re playing at home, we’re already in Act II. Ruby and Python borrow various ideas on iteration from FP languages. We might be towards the end of Act II; Scala is very much wearing ML’s jacket around town. Surely there will be fallout at some point, someone ranting about how OO FP hybrids are too large, too poorly designed, too complicated, etc. The dust will settle, and someone will build an even better OO FP hybrid. Act III will play repeatedly until no one thinks of languages as OO FP hybrids, they just think of them as another language.

Then something different from OO or FP will become obviously useful and this whole romantic comedy will play again. It’s the way of Hollywood, and the way of software development. Everything old is new again; everything new is old again. Rinse, repeat.

Adam Keys @therealadam