In this article, we will look at several OOP languages and several FP languages. This way, you will evaluate the pros and cons of the both, OOP and FP paradigms.
What is the difference between object-oriented programming and functional programming?
Functional programming is about working with the structures and functions. The actual process is about finding a mathematical solution to the case. Often, it can be described as a function. FP is not about describing some artificial objects and reassigning the variables. Thus, functional programming is better suited to support complicated tasks, which demand speedy calculation of multiple components, use of several processors at once, utilize distributed layers, and must work as a stable, protected, invulnerable system.
Object-oriented programming starts with designing objects and classes. By manipulating these objects, we can describe the algorithm leading to solving customer problems. We can combine variables into groups of classes and easily move variable from one tipe to another. This complicates the programming process. Which can ultimately lead to bugs. OOP is worth using when you’re working with repetitive tasks for which there are many frameworks and off-the-shelf libraries. This is both a strength and a weakness of OOP. As a plus can be mentioned, that the work can be done quickly. But you can’t guarantee the invulnerability of the software as you reuse various features and patches provided by other programmers.
What to choose: object-oriented programming language or functional programming language?
Let’s take a closer look at a few languages.
The code written in this language corresponds to several programming methodologies:
- Procedural concept. The code is written in an imperative language where executable commands can be assembled into larger code elements.
- Parallelism. Several operations can be executed simultaneously, both on several cores of the same processor and physically separate processors.
- Functional programming. Convenient when observing operations, as it allows you to display them as a list.
- OOP. It can use the following mechanisms: inheritance, encapsulation, polymorphism.
This language can be used in software and operating system development, infrastructure design, and server monitoring.
This is a pure functional language. Rather difficult to learn, but ideal for learning the paradigm of functional programming. It can be used to analyze and process text, to sort out spam, to operate with DLTs, and blockchain platforms. It can be used almost everywhere except for frontend applications. Among the pluses are:
- Ability to compile into native code;
- safe memory handling;
- metaprogramming (creating programs that generate other programs).
It’s worth learning Haskell if you’re already familiar with programming and want to take it to the next level. Or if you are a newcomer with a strong mathematical background. You will love the language with simple syntax and implementation of pure mathematical functions..
Another functional programming language. Important features are tools for creating a large number of parallel lightweight processes and their interconnection. Widely used in telecommunications and supported by Ericsson, it is useful for streaming services because of the ability to withstand a huge number of connections for databases with high attendance. Among the pluses is the easy learnability of the language. No matter how dirty the code is if it compiles, it works. Among the downsides is the possibility of memory leaks if the binary data reference gets into another process.
A functional language for building programs and items. A very convenient and simple package manager is written is Nix, which, unlike Docker or Snap, allows you to add libraries to the project without annoying your comrades. For example, other package managers create two packages when different people create the same package, which adds to the complexity of teamwork. This is why Nix is often used by OOP programmers (C++, Python) as a package manager. You can simply download NixOS and run it on a virtual machine.
A very popular and sought-after language for programming. It is at least one of the top five languages. It uses object-oriented programming and generalized programming paradigms. Every three years, the standard changes, the language design becomes more complex, but the code itself becomes easier to read. Developed, maintained, and standardized by a committee of IT giants. Difficult to learn for beginners, but very much in demand in all areas of programming.
It is impossible not to mention it when describing object-oriented languages. It ranks fifth in the TIOBE index (as of October 2021). It is mostly used when writing scripts for various domains. For example, for machine learning and assembly automation, software customization. The popular YouTube was written in Python.
Programmers will enjoy reading other people’s codes. Highlighting code elements with indents rather than brackets limits formatting freedom and allows another programmer to become familiar with the content faster. The disadvantages are slow execution speed, complex syntax, and single-threaded due to GIL (which is absent in Jython and IronPython).
Although there is a myth of a strict division into functional and object-oriented languages, it is worth applying different methods. It is worth saying that a good project is written using different styles. It is important to understand – when and where to apply a particular method. An imperative paradigm is better for one task, while a functional one is better for another. But if you need to change data frequently, OOP is ideal.