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Author Topic: Hacknot on dynamic languages  (Read 3125 times)


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Hacknot on dynamic languages
« on: March 29, 2007, 02:14 PM »
Here's a lengthy, thought-provoking article questioning the hype around dynamic languages like ruby.

Such were my thoughts upon reading a piece in the February 2007 edition of IEEE Computer entitled "Programmers Shift to Dynamic Languages"1 by one Linda Dailey Paulson. The article's basic premise is that dynamic languages (DLs) are experiencing something of a renaissance at the moment. Even though DLs such as Perl and PHP have been around for many years, with the recent advent of Ruby, DLs have become the hot new thing.

Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546


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Re: Hacknot on dynamic languages
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2007, 02:21 PM »
This is definitely worth reading.  :up: :up:


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Re: Hacknot on dynamic languages
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2007, 07:12 PM »
I am sure everybody is waiting for my reaction, as I am the python evangelist around these parts. I don't have the time to write up a detailed response, but I have to say that I agree with most of what the author has written. But a few quick details.

For the code example he gives... here is the python code


For the claim of the DL evangalists that "Dynamic Typing, Interpretation and Reduced Code Volume Increase Development Speed", I wouldn't have said that. I would have said, "Claim: Dynamic Typing, Interpretation and Reduced Code Volume Increase Development Prototyping Speed" and a greater amount of that prototyping code is kept in the final product than other languages.

Claim: Support From Major Companies Legitimizes DLs -- I do not agree with the DL evangelists on this at all.

Claim: As the Problems Change, People Use New Languages -- I would disagree, but would probably claim that "As the Problems Change, People Use New (Code) Libraries".

Claim: Syntax Can Be Natural -- As with Hacknot, I agree that it is personal preference, and for me, python matches the way I think more than other languages.

Claim: No Harm, No Foul -- I think Hacknot's response is equally idiotic. I would say, "Use the Proper Tool, Properly."

I will try to elaborate at some point in the future, but since I like DLs, I will put it in an over generalized sound bite for you.  :P

For me, most of the coding I do today is glue code. I spend more time gluing other people's code (mostly libraries - in python, modules) together and sticking in my data. All languages have great libraries for most of this. However, the part I have to write, the glue part, is much easier to do in a DL, especially one I know well, than in a non-DL, even one I know well.