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Functional Programming in Commercial Software
Which problems domains are more suited to functional programming solutions

I just wonder where do functional programming languages are used? Might be some good examples? Like rocket science or telecommunications?


2 Answers 2


Well, here's a list of projects using Erlang:


The world doesn't revolve around building apps for tablets and mobile phones ;)

Usually functional languages are used when there is a need for a very high degree of abstraction, parallelism and scalability. This doesn't mean you cannot write code with these properties using any other language (non-functional), but the absence of side-effects on a purely functional language helps in these scenarios.

Erlang is a great example of this, since it was built from scratch to address problems that were "embarrassingly parelizable".

Also, even a language like Javascript can be used in a purely functional form, although it does let you mess up that model quite badly.

There is also Scala, that lets you program in a mix between functional (the preferred way), and procedural style. Scala is used, for instance, on the Twitter middleware layer to handle the absurd level of concurrency that they deal with.

  • The world doesn't revolve around building apps for tablets and mobile phones - yea, that's why I am asking :) May 4, 2012 at 11:49
  • 2
    My personal favorite usage of Functional languages is simply to force you to think in another paradigm. I usually code in Java and Python, but I like playing around with Erlang and Scala a lot. It helps you look at problems in a new way, even in other languages.
    – pcalcao
    May 4, 2012 at 11:59
  • Jane Street uses OCaml for trading.

  • Since the functional programming language ML was created for theorm proving: automated theorm proving and proof assistants

  • While it is not required, it is common to find AI programs written in functional langauges.

  • Writing games for the XBOX.


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