[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

another take on hackers and painters

I'm afraid your article, while interesting, simply reiterates tired
and (I think) often invalid prejudices against static typing.  Though
this isn't the focus of your article, it's not that far removed from
the focal point, and it anyway gives me a chance to vent. (-:

It is absolutely true that in the extreme case, the "artistic
programmer" needs a language without type restrictions.  This is
because they are effectively building a non-trivial language
themselves, whose type system may not mesh well (or at all) with that
of the native language.  Even then, it's often possible to encode the
second tier type system atop some universal representation in the
first one, but one could fairly ask, to what end?

On the other hand, in a language with a good static type system, I
think programmers run into these restrictions far less often than they
might think.  A sufficiently crafty programmer will recognize when
they are hitting the language's type restrictions, and will then be
able to provide a lovely critique of the type system along with the
application that is shackled by it.  There are surprisingly few such
critiques, and the ratio of critiques to impassioned pleas for freedom
grows vanishingly small.

People who criticize static typing should annotate their offering with
an indication of how much ML they have written.  That would make them
far more credible.

I suppose I've now tossed down the gauntlet, and you can always come
back with "Oh, about a 100k lines, at which point I realized static
typing was all bunk", and nothing would make my Scheming heart
happier. (-: