typing again

Kostis Sagonas kostis@REDACTED
Fri Apr 4 21:58:12 CEST 2003

Claus Reinke wrote:
 > > Could someone explain why static typing is considered so "bad"
 > > or "unnecessary"?  I think I could be sold on this (I _do_
 > > consider myself to be open-minded), I just need to hear the
 > > right argument.
 > static typing isn't at all bad
 > ....
 > as long as you have to choose between advanced type
 > systems and all the goodies Erlang provides, your choice will 
 > depend on your applications. And for typical Erlang applications,
 > Erlang goodies are so indispensible that the choice is easy.
 > Unfortunately, his correspondents didn't quite get it, but next 
 > time some self-appointed evangelist asks how you can do any
 > safety-critical applications without static typing, the proper
 > answer is "I'd love to have a better type system, but how can you 
 > do any safety-critical applications without cheap concurrency,
 > distribution, fault-tolerance, ..."!-) 

With the risk of embarking on a perennial discussion and opening
up Pandora's box, I personally think that the proper answer to
this is:

	"I'd love to have a type system that once I've developed 
	 my application I can optionally employ to catch possible
	 type errors that may exist in my code, and to use as
	 documentation about my data structures which is

	 However, I do not necessarily want the type system
	 to stand on my way while I am experimenting, developing
	 prototypes, or when I simply feel like writing programs
	 that I know are OK but the type system somehow does not
	 share my view on the subject..."


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