Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Master Foo and the hoard of static typechecking zealots discuss Python

One day, Master Foo was browsing the Web, reading about optional typechecking on Guido's blog.

A great multitude of static typing zealots arrived up the mountain from the town below and begged an audience with Master Foo.

Zealots : We find Python kind-of interesting but the lack of typed variables makes it a non-starter for us. Once we learned about that, we ditched it. Everything we have learned, everything we *know* about programming tells us that you must have type checking performed at compile time. Otherwise there is chaos. Performance suffers, productivity suffers. It is obvious that Python is just plain wrong in this area. Do you think it can be fixed
Master Foo?

Master Foo: How many developers out there think like you lot?

Zealots: We are as commonplace as grains of sand or drops of rainwater. We make up the vast bulk of jobbing software development folk on the planet.

Master Foo: As I thought. Remember this : there are many stepping stones to enlightment. The placement of these stepping stones must be done with great care by the wise who wish to foster enlightenment in the not-so-wise. Sometimes stepping stones are a means to an end, sometimes they are an end in themselves.

Zealots: We do not understand you Master Foo.

Master Foo: If you don't have at least optional static typing, you will not consider Python for your next project - regardless of what you hear about how insanely productive it is?

Zealots: That is so.

Master Foo: Then stepping stones will be placed for you by the wise. You will see the stones as an end in themselves but in reality, they will be a means to an end.

Zealots: We do not understand you Master Foo.

Master Foo: Good. For if you did, the stepping stones would have to be re-arranged.

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