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Research: Functional Languages Lead to Better Code Quality

Wednesday Oct 4th 2017 by Developer.com Staff

The choice of programming language has a small but real effect on code quality.

Researchers from the University of Virginia and University of California, Davis, have published a new paper titled "A Large-Scale Study of Programming Languages and Code Quality in GitHub," which finds that functional programing languages have some benefits over procedural or object-oriented languages. "By triangulating findings from different methods, and controlling for confounding effects such as team size, project size, and project history, we report that language design does have a significant, but modest effect on software quality," the researchers wrote.

The paper also identified several other language features that can increase code quality, including the following:

  • Disallowing type confusion
  • Static typing (within functional languages)
  • Managed memory usage

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