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First-class Functions in Functional Programming - FP Series

Exploring First-Class Functions in Functional Programming. Learn about first-class functions and their significance in functional programming.

The third fundamental concept in functional programming is the concept of "first-class functions." This concept introduces a remarkable level of flexibility and power to functional programming.

But what exactly do we mean by "first-class functions"? In traditional object-oriented programming, data and functions are typically treated as separate entities. The idea of creating lists of functions, passing functions as arguments to other functions, or even returning functions from other functions may seem unconventional.

list_of_functions = [
  return someFunction

However, in functional programming, not only is this possible, but it's also a source of incredible flexibility. When we say a programming language supports first-class functions, it means we can treat functions much like any other values, such as numbers, strings, or objects.

Now, you might be curious about the practical benefits of such practices. Why would we want to do these seemingly unconventional things? Well, this shift in perspective regarding functions opens up a world of possibilities in software design. It provides us with flexibility and enhances our ability to reuse code, as we'll explore further.

Additionally, it enables us to combine existing functions to create new ones. We'll delve into this concept in a later section and examine its implications for our programs. This approach can lead to more efficient and elegant solutions to complex problems.

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