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   Re: [xml-dev] OT: Static/dynamic typing

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> [Paul Prescod]
> >...
> > I think it is pretty well understood that for programming in the small,
> > dynamic type checking wins. I think it will be another five or ten years
> > before we have a clear answer about programming in the large. We need
> > more programmers to move back and forth between the two types of
> > developments, working on very large programs, and report their findings.
> > Current anecdotal evidence goes both ways: some people claim that
> > dynamic type checking helps in the large and others claim it hurts.
> More anecdotal evidence ...
> I was at a Python meeting a few years ago, and both Guido (Mr. Python) and
> Jim Fulton (Zope) were there. Several people said it was pretty hard to
> develop systems with Python larger than around 50k lines of code, and that
> was related to the lack of static typing.  I remember Guido assenting to
> that.  Of course, you get a lot of capability for the 50k LOC.
> As I recall, Jim Fulton said he didn't have any such trouble with 80k LOC
> Python systems (Zope).

I've been involved in 3 Python projects beyond 50,000 LOC, and one beyond 100,000.  For one thing, because of the nature of Python code, I would aver that a typical Python program has the function of a C++ or Java one with 5-10 times the LOC.  Certainly the 100,000 LOC project was similar to functionality in a 1M LOC C++ project in which I also participated.

Anyway, I have not had any experience where the bugs from type mismatch exceeded the productivity gains from dynamic and expressive programming.

This is why I have always vehemently oppose the occasional calls for optional static typing or interfaces that come up in the Python community, if there is any chance that they will affect those of us who don't believe in static typing.

Uche Ogbuji                           Fourthought, Inc.
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com           http://fourthought.com
http://4Suite.org                     http://uche.ogbuji.net
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