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RE: The Accessibility of Type Theory Research

James McCartney wrote:
> I am one of those who doesn't grok those papers. In fact I don't even
> try. I see those symbols, never learned them, so don't even bother. My
> interest in language design is due to there having been no languages
> sufficiently dynamic and sufficiently real time for my purposes doing
> computer music.

Hey, you should check out Haskore, a computer music system embedded in

It might provide an incentive to learn something about advanced statically
typed systems... :)

> The idea that we who don't grok type theory symbols
> should stay out of language design

I'd state it differently: people with little or no formal understanding of
language theory tend to design languages that are deficient in some
unnecessary ways.  No-one can stop them from designing languages, of course
(and I reserve the right to design some bad languages myself).  But one
question that arises is why someone doing language design would deliberately
choose to ignore some of the richest bodies of work on that subject.

Aside from that, to participate in a discussion involving static typing, it
helps to know something real about what statically typed systems can and
can't do, as opposed to just having a list of favorite prejudices; or else,
at least be willing to learn.  Otherwise, there doesn't seem much point in

> reminds me of the part in 100 Years
> of Solitude where people were flying around the village on magic
> carpets while the local scientist scoffed and refused to let his family
> partake in the new fad until he figured out a scientific basis for it.

You do know that magic carpets aren't real, right?

> The unwashed masses will find their own way to use what is available
> in spite of the academics.

Why "in spite of", though?  More information is available to us today, more
easily, than ever before.  The concepts finding their way into languages
like Io today were pioneered by academics, decades ago.  I'm not an
academic, but I've benefitted enormously from the academic information
that's available, including many of the references that have been given on
this list.  If you "don't even bother" with any of that, that's your choice.

The only "spite" here is in the sense of "cutting off your nose to spite
your face".  It's hardly surprising that you can't find many academics
willing to spend time giving free tutoring.