Clarify relationship to Functional Reactive Programming #1342

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conal opened this Issue May 19, 2014 · 9 comments

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@conal
conal commented May 19, 2014

I just heard of this project today. Looks cool.

I'm confused, however, about how you came to call it "Functional Reactive Programming". I see that you've read and shared my "What is Functional Reactive Programming" answer on Stack Overflow and perhaps the more succinct "Specification for a Functional Reactive Programming language" answer (plus pointers).

I'm hoping to better understand how the term "Functional Reactive Programming" gets applied to systems that are so far from the original definition and principles (continuous time with precise & simple mathematical meaning). I'm glad that people are exploring a diversity of approaches, and I hope we can all discuss them in a way that better supports clarity about these differences.

Thanks and good luck. -- Conal

@conal conal changed the title from Clarify relationship to "Functional Reactive Programming" to Clarify relationship to Functional Reactive Programming May 19, 2014
@joshaber
Member

Hi Conal!

The conflation is probably my fault.

In the early days I wanted to give some context for the ideas behind ReactiveCocoa. I really, really want to push Objective-C developers out of their comfort zone. Going from RAC to FRP is a way of creating a road between two worlds that otherwise don't share much connection.

ReactiveCocoa is certainly not FRP, but it certainly is inspired by it. Somewhere along the passage of time that distinction was lost.

I'm happy to change the README and wherever else to include this distinction.

Does "inspired by" seem accurate to you?

@conal
conal commented May 19, 2014

Hi Josh. Oh, hey. I'm happy to hear that FRP was an inspiration to you! Always gratifying. And I'm glad to hear the "FRP" label for ReactiveCocoa was just a mix-up and that you're not attached to keeping the conflation. If "inspired by" is accurate (and you'd know better than I do), then by all means say that (with my appreciation). I'm grateful for your help in reversing the confusion in its present and future forms (as it will probably continue to arise).

@conal
conal commented May 19, 2014

Hm. I wonder what to do about the confusion generated by the title of the ReactiveCocoa book.

@kastiglione
Member
@conradwt

@conal @AshFurrow Gives a good definition on episode #52 on the iPhreaks Podcast where they ask him for a definition. http://iphreaksshow.com/052-iphreaks-show-book-club-functional-reactive-programming-with-ash-furrow/

@conal
conal commented May 20, 2014

@conradwt Thanks. I skimmed through the transcript and found @AshFurrow's answer starting with "Yeah, it’s a big term." Looks like an independent meaning, disconnected from the already-established one. @AshFurrow -- did/do you intend a connection with the earlier meaning (from the late '90s)?

@joshaber
Member

I've opened #1344 to change our README to say that RAC is inspired by FRP.

@conal
conal commented May 20, 2014

Thanks for the doc tweaks.

@conal conal closed this May 20, 2014
@joshaber
Member

My pleasure @conal. Thanks for all your work!

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