[plt-scheme] Why do folks implement *dynamically* typed languages?

From: Anton van Straaten (anton at appsolutions.com)
Date: Sat Jun 2 09:43:06 EDT 2007

Richard Cobbe wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 01, 2007 at 09:27:54AM -0400, hendrik at topoi.pooq.com wrote:
>>On Wed, May 30, 2007 at 09:06:53PM -0400, Anton van Straaten wrote:
>>>That issue alone can make the argument for a language like Ruby, or
>>>Scheme, in many cases.  Languages that put you in control in the way
>>>that DLs do have been called "freedom languages":
>>>  http://codecraft.info/index.php/archives/20/
>>I've heard languages tha put you in control that SLs do called
>>"police-state languages".
> Ah, nothing brings reason to a discussionlike an emotionally and
> politically loaded analogy.
> (To be clear: "freedom" is just as loaded as "police-state.")

All true, but in the context of the original question, there's a reason 
for invoking emotions.  There's no purely objective basis for picking 
one of these languages over another, and the subjective reasons to do so 
are at least partly emotional: how programming in a language "feels" to 
the programmer.

The emotional descriptions are supposed to communicate those feelings, 
to help explain why some people might choose one language over another. 
  These descriptions shouldn't be offered or understood as absolute or 
objective assessments, but of course they often are -- after all, 
flamewars need fuel!

Strangely, the above hints at one of the motivations for formal type 
systems: by restricting oneself to reasoning within such a system, one 
can conveniently dismiss as meaningless all the fuzzy liberal arts 
considerations that arise outside of the formal system.  That's a rather 
fascist position, though.  ;)


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