Lambda? You Keep Using that Letter

Kevlin Henney

60 minute presentation

Lambdas. All the cool kid languages have them. But does lambda mean what C++ and other languages, from Java to Python, mean by lambda? Where did lambdas come from? What were they originally for? What is their relationship to data abstraction?

In this session we will into the history, the syntax, the uses and abuses of lambdas and the way in which lambda constructs in C++ and other languages do (or do not) match the original construct introduced in lambda calculus.

lambda calculus
template metaprogramming
Church encodings

Kevlin Henney

Kevlin is an independent consultant, speaker, writer and trainer. His development interests are in programming, people and practice. He has been a columnist for a number of magazines and sites, including The Register, CUJ and C++ Report, a contributor to open source software and a member of more committees than is probably healthy (it has been said that "a committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled").

He is co-author of two volumes in the Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture series, and editor and contributor for multiple books in the 97 Things series. He lives in Bristol and online.