Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Mar 2007 22:27 UTC
Java "Although the .NET vs. Java war is basically over for control of the Windows desktop, where .NET is sure to become the managed language of choice for new Windows desktop applications, there is a new battle brewing. That battle is for the Linux desktop. Now that Java has been open sourced under the GPL, even the most strict of the 'free software only' distributions can start bundling it and integrating it into their Linux distributions out of the box."
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RE[4]: Only Two Choices?
by ma_d on Thu 8th Mar 2007 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Only Two Choices?"
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

Static type checking makes developing complex software easier because it establishes statically (compiler) checked contracts at all of your interfaces.

On a local level it makes software a bit more clear by defining what types of inputs and what type of output a function has. With dynamic type checking you can receive any type of object into your function and pass it down the line until it gets to a point where the duck typing (this is runtime now, and it's usually duck typing as it is in python) causes an error (it can't find some attribute on that object that it expected).

Static type checking forces you to think these things through before you can even compile your program. Some people can do entirely without it and many people substitute extensive unit tests (which do a lot more than check type issues, which is why they're used in static type checked languages as well). But the errors still leak through and you end up doing a lot of work to figure out at what point you're really sending an invalid object into the mix.

To state that static type checking doesn't aid in writing software is to call dozens of prominent language designers wrong... I doubt even Guido would argue that static type checking isn't helpful.
In fact, I do believe Guido agrees with me ;) .
http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=86641

There's actually a tool for doing some static type checking in Python: http://pychecker.sourceforge.net/

Static type checking is much more difficult in a language like Python, which is why so many modern statically typed languages add syntax to aid in the enforcing. The difficulty of the check, coupled with Python's "run from source code" workflow, is likely why it's not in the compiler itself.

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