"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Premature Capitulation

The new thing is "gradual typing"...

I always like to know the origin of a name. In this case, gradual refers to the idea that in a gradually typed language, you can gradually add type annotations to what is otherwise a dynamically typed program.
Sounds like you need better tools (they pretty much stink for Python and Ruby, try Smalltalk or Lisp) and perhaps a better compiler (ditto). Doubtful you need "gradual typing".


Barry Kelly said...

Static typing isn't worthless. It can help promote a third-party commercial market in components, through specification and versioning of APIs, for example. It provides documentation that is machine-checked for proof of correctness (in so far as the particular type system goes). And it provides performance hints to the compiler when, due to the halting problem, it is unable to infer correct types ahead of time.

If you agree that static type-checking isn't worthless, then surely having optional types (aka gradual typing) can be an advantage in an otherwise dynamically typed langauge, no?

Patrick Logan said...

Yeah, I'm familiar with static type checking.

No, I don't agree that static checking isn't worthless.

Em, so you think there is no market for components in dynamic languages?

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.