Python vs .Net

Harry George hgg9140 at
Mon Jan 6 02:37:36 CET 2003

Laura Creighton <lac at> writes:

> > "Karsten W. Rohrbach" wrote:
> > > 
> > > Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, weak-typed, [...] programming
> > 
> > As Paul said, you misspelled "strong", but also forgot "and dynamically typed
> > ".
> > 
> > (See frequent and by now almost tedious past discussions in this group
> > as to why Python is most definitely not a "weakly typed" language.)
> > 
> > -Peter
> > -- 
> >
> If people around here would remember that the reason we have such
> discussions all too often is not that some people are _wrong_,
> and believe that Python is what you call a _weakly typed language_,
> but rather in their linguistic community 'strongly typed' ==
> 'statically typed' and 'weakly typed' == 'dynamically typed' things
> would be a lot more pleasant.  The confusion is inevitable, because
> there are one heck of a lot of computer science text books out there
> which teach precisely this.  

I'm not aware of these texts.  The technical (as in graduate computer
science) language and language design texts I've seen understand and
describe strong/weak, static/dynamic quite well.  It is the popular
press which mixes them up.  But I do agree it is worth pointing to a
FAQ whenever the issue arises.

> And, no, it doesn't mean that people
> like Karsten W. Rohrbach don't understand the difference between
> what Python does, and what Perl does -- but when they want to
> discuss this difference, they speak of whether the language does
> or does not support 'automatic promotion of types' -- which is
> completely independent of whether you have to declare them or not,
> and whether you can rebind them on the fly.

My impression is that it is the silent rebinding which throws people
off, and gives the impression of weak typing.  Typos give this
effect.  In Prolog that is a std bug generator, and I've seen in in my
python code as well.

> Laura Creighton

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