The basic theory of nonlocal continuum and the finite element approximation is briefly outlined and various numerical applications are presented, both in statics and in wave propagation. It is shown that stable strain-softening zones of finite size are obtained with this model, and physically correct convergence properties at mesh refinement are achieved. Determination of the characteristic length of the material and relationship to nonlinear fracture mechanics are described and illustrated by examples. Finally, the question of step-by-step integration algorithm for strain-softening materials is analyzed and an effective new algorithm, called the exponential algorithm, is presented and illustrated. The formulation is also extended to materials which exhibit simultaneous progressive cracking (damage) and creep or plasticity.