Programming Paradigms

(13 minutes of reading) Do you know what programming paradigms are? Do you know the difference between them and programming languages? If you don't know or want to learn more about this subject, come read our article today!

Programming Paradigms

(13 minutes of reading)


It is very common to mix programming paradigms with programming languages, although we are talking about different things, there are some similarities between them.

Programming languages are used to “teach” computers to do different tasks and actions. Languages also have their own vocabularies and grammar rules for developing these instructions.

Paradigms are a type of identity of these languages, that is, they are code writing models that can be applied to several languages. It is even possible to use more than one paradigm for the same solution in a previously chosen language.

Paradigms are code-writing templates that can be applied to multiple languages if those languages support it. It is possible to apply more than one paradigm to the same solution in a previously chosen language.

In short, paradigms allow you to solve a problem with different solutions, but each resource will require different efforts and ways of logically thinking about solving this same problem, using different methodologies to achieve the same goal.

Are you curious about it? In today's text we will talk about which language paradigms are most used today. Come read!


PROGRAMMING PARADIGM: WHAT IS IT?

A paradigm is a programming style, a methodology. It's not a programming language, it's the way you solve problems using certain code. There are many well-known programming languages, but they all need to follow some rules when implemented. And these rules are the paradigms, that is, a mean of qualifying the language based on its functionality.

Paradigms can be understood as a programming style, model, or methodology, which point to the best way to solve problems using a given language.

Likewise, when a new programming language is developed, it tends to fit into a paradigm or even into more than one, depending on its peculiarities.


THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING ABOUT PROGRAMMING PARADIGMS

Programming paradigms help build more readable and organized codes. In addition, they offer the most appropriate techniques for each type of application, increasing the daily productivity of the developer. Being able to understand languages more broadly and even understand between the lines of codes.

In programming, each problem can have several solutions, so we say that there is more than one paradigm to solve them. Thus, a paradigm may be more advantageous than another, depending on the development of a given system, offering appropriate techniques for a specific application.

By choosing a suitable paradigm for your project, it is possible for applications to be developed with greater productivity, enabling uniqueness in the guidance of code writing among the team members, making it more readable and facilitating maintenance throughout its existence.

Understanding about programming paradigms will make you and the project more professional and organized. In this way, before reflecting on the solution of a problem, you will think about the modeling of that solution and about the paradigm to be used.


WHAT ARE THE MAIN PARADIGMS?

There are six main types of paradigms, each of which was created to fulfill different purposes in web development and, therefore, with pros and cons. Depending on the programming language used, you can use more than one.

The main programming paradigms basically belong to two groups: imperative and declarative. Below we list the main ones:


IMPERATIVE PARADIGM

The imperative paradigm, also known as the procedural paradigm, aims at executing and/or solving a problem. In this type of construction, the instructions must be passed to the computer in the sequence in which they must be executed, where the programmer describes a detailed step by step of what must be fulfilled by the computer.

In the imperative paradigm, the problem solution will be very dependent on the experience and creativity of those who work with programming, that is, the focus of the resolution will be on “how” it should be done.

It is an efficient paradigm and allows modeling just like the real world, in addition to being well established and flexible. On the other hand, the generated source code is difficult to read.

Because it is a relatively complex paradigm, it is not recommended for building applications that require short-term maintenance or very frequent changes.

In general, this paradigm determines that the instructions to be passed to the computer can be grouped into procedures, which, in turn, aim at reusing the code at different points.

Most programming languages taught in colleges are procedural, such as: C, C++, Java, Pascal.

In general, languages that fall into the imperative category are best suited for use in the following situations:

- Existence of a complex operation that includes dependencies between operations and when there is a need for clear visibility of the different states of the application;

- Very unique program and few elements were shared;

- Static program and not expected to change much over time.


OBJECT-ORIENTED PARADIGM

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is among the most popular programming paradigms in the world.

This is mainly due to numerous benefits such as code modularity and the ability to directly associate real issues in terms of code. With the aim of facilitating the development of web applications, this was the first paradigm to allow cross-platform programming.

With the object-oriented paradigm, it is not necessary to create an application differently according to the operating system where it will run, that is, websites, applications and software are developed only once and are interpreted by different platforms without obstacles. That's because, the program is written as a collection of classes and objects for good communication. The smallest and basic entity is object, and all kind of calculations are performed only on objects.

The object-oriented paradigm is used by the following languages: Python, C++, Java, PHP, and Ruby.

Its use is mainly indicated when several programmers work together and do not need to understand everything about each component, there is a lot of code to be shared and reused, or when many changes are foreseen in the project.

One of the major concerns of OOP is to highlight what is important. Not by chance, it emerged with the aim of allowing more agile development of programs, with greater reliability and cost reduction.


EVENT-DRIVEN PARADIGMS

Event-driven paradigms are used by programming languages that use graphical resources, such as games and forms, and depend on a previous user action to perform a movement.

Thus, program execution occurs as certain events are triggered. Therefore, whoever uses it is responsible for when the program is executed.

The main programming languages that use this paradigm are: Visual Basic and Delphi.


DECLARATIVE PROGRAMMING PARADIGMS

Declarative programming paradigms tell the machine what it wants to get, but not the process to get it.

It takes this name because, by using it, the programmer declares immutable logical truths for which the results will always be the same after their interactions.

In other words, declarative paradigms focus more on “what” needs to be solved and not on “how” to do it.

Among the main advantages associated with this category are the ease of accessing the database and the higher level of code abstraction.

Also, programs made with a declarative language are often smaller, as less code is needed to accomplish a goal.

The level of abstraction here is much higher and the main declarative languages are also markup languages: HTML, XML, XSLT and XAML.

In the group of declarative programming paradigms are: functional paradigm and logical paradigm.


FUNCTIONAL PARADIGM

Considered one of the most famous derivations of the declarative paradigm, the functional paradigm gets its name because it is based on the use of mathematical functions.

The functional paradigm is the one that emphasizes the use of functions where the problem is divided into blocks and, for its resolution, assignments are implemented that define variables in their scope that may or may not return results.

As previously stated, it is indicated when the required solution depends on a mathematical basis. Thus, the proposed problem is subdivided, and the implemented functions will do the mathematical calculations. Therefore, the functional paradigm is highly recommended in cases where there is mathematics directly involved in programming.

In this case, the program is made up of short functions, where all the code is inside one function, and all variables are scoped to the function.

In the functional programming paradigm, functions do not modify any values outside the scope of that function, and functions themselves are not affected by any values outside the scope of that function.

The main programming languages that use this paradigm are Haskell, Scala, Racket, and JavaScript.


LOGICAL PARADIGM

The logical paradigm, also known as restrictive, is derived from the declarative paradigm, it is not composed of instructions and, therefore, differs greatly from the other paradigms. Very popular in the Artificial Intelligence sector for obtaining results through logical-mathematical analysis, it uses forms of symbolic logic as input and output patterns. From there, it makes inferences to produce the results. The main elements of this paradigm are: propositions, inference and search rules.

It's based on facts and uses everything it knows to create a scenario where all those facts and clauses are true and point to some ending.

Among the programming languages that use this paradigm are: QLISP, Mercury, Prolog, Absys, Ciao, Alice.

In addition to the paradigms already mentioned here in the text, we cannot fail to mention parallel computing, which is a way of solving problems where several computers work simultaneously to reach the same goal, allowing many processors to execute a program in less time, splitting them. This solution often requires a higher work effort, so they can be more robust applications that serve many users.

This approach is generally recommended when you have a system that has more than one CPU or multi-core processors, or you need to resolve computational issues that can take up to days to resolve.

Languages that support the parallel processing approach are C and C++.


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