Sunday, October 24, 2021

code: Expressions vs. statements: F# vs C#

Expressions vs. statements | F# for fun and profit

"In programming language terminology, an “expression” is a combination of values and functions that are combined and interpreted by the compiler to create a new value, as opposed to a “statement” which is just a standalone unit of execution and doesn’t return anything. One way to think of this is that the purpose of an expression is to create a value (with some possible side-effects), while the sole purpose of a statement is to have side-effects.

C# and most imperative languages make a distinction between expressions and statements and have rules about where each kind can be used. But as should be apparent, a truly pure functional language cannot support statements at all, because in a truly pure language, there would be no side-effects.

Even though F# is not pure, it does follow the same principle. In F# everything is an expression. Not just values and functions, but also control flows (such as if-then-else and loops), pattern matching, and so on."