Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Jan 2013 23:15 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
General Development "Programming languages are living phenomena: They're born, the lucky ones that don't die in infancy live sometimes long, fruitful lives, and then inevitably enter a period of decline. Unlike real life, the decline can last many, many years as the presence of large legacy codebases means practiced hands must tend the code for decades. The more popular the language once was, the longer this period of decline will be."
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RE[6]: Comment by RareBreed
by ndrw on Thu 17th Jan 2013 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by RareBreed"
Member since:

There are many programmers out there who prefer weak typing, so "general populace of programmers" is, well, generalization.

I'm somewhere in between. Sometimes I like strong typing (large models with a simple structure), sometimes not (complex or dynamic models). A quick exercise: how (and why) would you classify a small hungry, short-haired, black cat?

Also, while dynamic languages may or may not be strongly typed (semantically), they are all have to be weakly typed during compilation - the only time strong typing actually matters.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by RareBreed
by satsujinka on Thu 17th Jan 2013 01:04 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by RareBreed"
satsujinka Member since:

Of course it is a generalization, however, it's a perfectly valid one. There are very concrete reasons to prefer strong typing to weak typing in nearly all cases.

If anything, complex models dictate strong typing. If simply to give you appropriate guarantees and sign posts for navigating the model. It's simple models in which adhering to rules isn't so important. For example, your cat is a simple model having just 4 properties to vary on (plus animal type, if we're dealing with other animals.)

A strongly typed language is a strongly typed language, no matter when the enforcement occurs. Static types merely help catch violations sooner, but you're still not allowed to violate the system if we check later.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by RareBreed
by ndrw on Thu 17th Jan 2013 02:15 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by RareBreed"
ndrw Member since:

No generalizations are valid. Especially when there are whole groups of people thinking otherwise (here: for very concrete reasons prefer weak typing to strong typing in nearly all cases).

Strong typing works extremely well with abstract single-function objects (a number, a string, a list, a set) and fails *badly* at any attempt of modeling real objects. In a way, you have admitted that yourself - a "cat" from my example would be an "Object" type, distinguished only by its fields, not the type.

Strong typing implies enforcement, otherwise it wouldn't be "strong". Preferably at compile time, and at least at runtime, although many advocates of strong typing would disagree with that. The problem with your example is that Python doesn't even enforce types at runtime - a "type" (class) is just a method of reusing implementation. At runtime the interpreter is only interested whether the field/method you're accessing is defined or not - something that may and does change at any the time.

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RE[8]: Comment by RareBreed
by kwan_e on Thu 17th Jan 2013 03:07 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by RareBreed"
kwan_e Member since:

If anything, complex models dictate strong typing.

If we go meta and take a look at this whole conversation (which has gone on since the invention of those terms...

The fact that you can categorize something as strong or weak typing, but differentiate it from compile-time or run-time typing, and differentiate it from static and dynamic typing, and the conflation with OO, says something about the inherent flaws of any kind of language typing.

Really the conversation should be about:

Strong, compile-time, static typing vs
Strong, compile-time, dynamic typing vs
Strong, run-time, static typing vs
Strong, run-time, dynamic typing vs
Weak, compile-time, static typing vs
Weak, compile-time, dynamic typing vs
Weak, run-time, static typing vs
Weak, run-time, dynamic typing.

Reply Parent Score: 2