What's the story behind "applicative" in "Constant Applicative Form"?

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What's the story behind "applicative" in "Constant Applicative Form"?

sonne
Hi cafe.

I've been trying to make the concept of CAFs get through to me, but
the very name is cryptic enough to stupefy me. What does it mean for a
thing to be "applicative"? Is it related to the concept of applicative
functor (likely not)? What would a constant non-applicative form look
like? A non-constant applicative form? An applicative non-form, in the
end?

I put a question on Stack Overflow about this, only to discover no
one's really sure. I would appreciate either an answer put there right
away or a permission to re-post or rephrase an answer there myself,
but, if you do mind, I will of course keep the answer private to this
mailing list. This is the link to the question:
stackoverflow.com/questions/48489778

Thank you!

P.S. I guess this is my first e-mail to this list, so please kindly
let me know if it's unfit or in any way out of line.
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Re: What's the story behind "applicative" in "Constant Applicative Form"?

Stephen Tetley-2
Hi Sonne

Circa the 1970s and 80s "applicative" was often used in the UK as a
synonym for functional, and its coinage dates back to at least
Landin's "The Next 700 Programming Languages" paper (1966). I wouldn't
bet against "applicative form" being the same thing as "applicative
expressions" in Landin's paper, though I have to confess this section
goes over my head.

I thought I'd read that researchers in the 70s and 80s preferred the
term "applicative" over "functional" because "functional" can also be
a synonym for "working" (rather than "not-working"), but I'm not sure
how how much currency "functional" actually had in those days.


I suspect "constant non-applicative form" is a misnomer - I would
guess the opposite of "CAF" would be "non-constant applicative form".

Best wishes

Stephen

On 29 January 2018 at 16:21, sonne <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi cafe.
>
> I've been trying to make the concept of CAFs get through to me, but
> the very name is cryptic enough to stupefy me. What does it mean for a
> thing to be "applicative"? Is it related to the concept of applicative
> functor (likely not)? What would a constant non-applicative form look
> like? A non-constant applicative form? An applicative non-form, in the
> end?
>
> I put a question on Stack Overflow about this, only to discover no
> one's really sure. I would appreciate either an answer put there right
> away or a permission to re-post or rephrase an answer there myself,
> but, if you do mind, I will of course keep the answer private to this
> mailing list. This is the link to the question:
> stackoverflow.com/questions/48489778
>
> Thank you!
>
> P.S. I guess this is my first e-mail to this list, so please kindly
> let me know if it's unfit or in any way out of line.
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> To (un)subscribe, modify options or view archives go to:
> http://mail.haskell.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
> Only members subscribed via the mailman list are allowed to post.
_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
To (un)subscribe, modify options or view archives go to:
http://mail.haskell.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Only members subscribed via the mailman list are allowed to post.