I really like the idea of jQuery's deferred/promise pattern or paradigm but sometimes I have trouble wrapping my aging brain around the finer points or specific implementation details.
I've probably missed some, included stuff that's really part of one of the others, and made other mistakes in that list... Please edit it to correct it or leave comments.
Or is functional programming entirely beside the point? Is the concept more related to concurrent programming than to functional programming?
According to Wikipedia: The term promise was proposed in 1976 by Daniel P. Friedman and David Wise, and Peter Hibbard called it eventual. A somewhat similar concept future was introduced in 1977 in a paper by Henry Baker and Carl Hewitt.
See: Futures and promises history on Wikipedia:
The future and/or promise constructs were first implemented in programming languages such as MultiLisp and Act 1. The use of logic variables for communication in concurrent logic programming languages was quite similar to futures. These started with Prolog with Freeze and IC Prolog, and became a true concurrency primitive with Relational Language, Concurrent Prolog, Guarded Horn Clauses (GHC), Parlog, Vulcan, Janus, Mozart/Oz, Flow Java, and Alice ML. The single-assignment I-var from dataflow programming languages, originating in Id and included in Reppy's Concurrent ML, is much like the concurrent logic variable.
The promise pipelining technique (using futures to overcome latency) was invented by Barbara Liskov and Liuba Shrira in 1988, and independently by Mark S. Miller, Dean Tribble and Rob Jellinghaus in the context of Project Xanadu circa 1989.
The term promise was coined by Liskov and Shrira, although they referred to the pipelining mechanism by the name call-stream, which is now rarely used. [...]
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