Record selectors

martin j logan <>
Mon Jan 13 18:56:22 CET 2003

On Sun, 2003-01-12 at 07:14, Vlad Dumitrescu wrote:
> Hi Daniel,
> Without pretending that I hold the answer to the problem, I think you are a
> little bit too harsh.
> If I am not too wrong, implementing a "regular" type system with
> user-defined types for a dynamically-typed functional language will add in
> one way or another to the complexity of the syntax. I simply can't come up
> with an existing language where this is solved elegantly (i.e. without
> contriving the language) while keeping a reasonable amount of efficiency -
> if anyone has any examples, please let me know.

Phil Wadler tried to implement a type system for erlang. The experiment
was discussed at PLI 2002. The proceedings can be obtained from ACM. The
experiment was basically determined to be a lesson in what not to do. I
think many hope that a coherent type system for erlang will one day be
developed. As of today, as far as I know, no such type system has been
conceived of.


> I think the already expressed opinions about using for example dictionaries
> instead of today's records are closer to the soul of Erlang. If one would
> come up with a nice piece of syntactic sugar that would make the
> implementation transparent to the user, and also allow switching it easily
> between debug and release builds in order to trade type-safety for speed,
> then that would be very welcomed.
> best regards,
> Vlad

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