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[Axiom-developer] Static versus Dynamically typed (was: Philosophy... )

From: Bill Page
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Static versus Dynamically typed (was: Philosophy... )
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 01:37:48 -0400

On September 22, 2005 11:41 PM M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

> Bill Page worte: 
> > In a sense, Axiom is/was an experiment in the application of
> > strongly typed programming languages in computer algebra and
> > to be quite honest and blunt, for the most part the experiment
> > seems to have failed. :(

> Martin Rubey wrote:
> > No, most of it has been transformed into MuPad. However, I
> > dare say that Aldor is superiour to MuPad's language.
> C Y wrote:
> > I think the jury is still out on strongly typed issues - such
> > systems (including Axiom, in some ways) tend to be designed
> > by experts for experts, and thus it is not surprising that in
> > terms of "market share" they don't do as well.  I suspect core
> > technical merit has little to do with such issues, which is
> > quite unfortunate.

M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:
> That battle is raging right now in the web development arena,
> and "strongly typed" and "static" languages are taking a beating 
> by dynamic environments like Ruby, Python, Perl and PHP. Let's
> face it ... people who program for a living like dynamic languages
> and hate static ones. If the "industry" couldn't hire thousands
> of inexpensive C programmers, the language would have died out
> except as an "assembler" for dynamic language interpreters and
> the Linux kernel. :)

We need to define carefully what we mean by "stongly typed"
programming language. I think this article does a good job:


"Static typing as opposed to dynamic typing. In a static type
system, type annotations are associated with variable names
rather than values. It is thus possible for the compiler to
prove via static analysis that a program contains no type

"Strong guarantees about the run-time behavior of a program
before program execution, whether provided by static analysis
or another mechanism."

So one issue is really statically typed versus dynamically

The C language is statically typed but not strong. Haskell and
Ocaml are strongly static typed. I think SPAD and Aldor are also
strong static typed languages. (However I am not so sure about
the 'pretend' construct in these languages which looks something
like a type-cast in C.) Languages like Python, Lisp, Maple and
are dynamnically typed. I think that MuPad is also dynamically


Bill Page.

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