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That was my initial thought too, but I think it's still a useful realization. at least one place in which this would make sense is physics response.

If your actors has a single 'update' method, the first actor would check for collisions and move before any other actors had a chance to do anything. This gives certain actors preferential treatment in movement.

Of course, you could instead plan out the dependencies better; do all collision detection before all physics response. But this is just a different way to look at 'immutability'




In most real physics systems, you have to solve systems of simultaneous constraints in order to get the right answer, i.e. all the guys involved in an interaction are sort of going at the same time. (Though also these systems do tend to have ways to break constraints and subdivide the problem when it gets too big, which then does give preferential movement, but not in a way that any kind of functional programming would solve, because it is inherent in reducing the complexity of the math problem.)

There may be exceptions to this; it is not a subject I keep current with.


Everyone has to go at the same time or weird instabilities occur in your physics engine; one way to do that is to have everyone read past frame values to produce current frame values (very much like a world -> world function).


That's exactly how it's done. See also: 'Conway's game of life' for a very simple version of such a system (and for kicks, try doing an asynchronous version of it).


yeah, that is actually what I was saying. I just provided an alternative way of looking at it where you pipeline the dependent operations instead of running them at the same time.

eg: instead of:

    foreach actor(find collisions -> find response -> do movement)
do:

    foreach actor(find collisions) -> 
    foreach actor(find response) -> 
    foreach actor(do movement)

That way you may modify the primary data structure directly in the 'do movement' response without any conceptual 'data races'. It really just off loads the information lost from 'mutability' to the secondary data structures of collision lists and the like.




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