does lack of type declarations make Python unsafe?

Tim Rowe tim at
Wed Jun 18 22:09:23 CEST 2003

On Wed, 18 Jun 2003 09:15:50 GMT, Alex Martelli <aleax at>

>I will (slightly, I hope) breach netiquette by asking for a mail Cc of
>those pointers you may eventually unearth -- I'm leaving day after
>tomorrow for a long and convoluted trip and following news while at
>conventions, sprints &c is quite a problem...

Ok, but with two kids parties to organise and a work deadline looming
don't be surprised if you are back first (and if you are, could you
remind me about this one, as it's not easy to find old messages in
this reader).

>But this has little to do with the need of 'type declarations'.  I
>suspect that a statically typed language would also be better off
>without them, relying on type inferencing instead, a la Haskell (and
>Haskell's typeclasses to keep the inferencing as wide as feasible),
>for example.  But I have no research to back this up;-).

The stuff that I can't find at the moment doesn't look at stuff like
Haskell, so there may be something in type inference.  I keep meaning
to look into Haskell; last time I tried I got as far as an AI research
programme called "Lolita" and couldn't stop laughing long enough to
look at the language itself.  (Can you /imagine/ doing a web search
for that programme from work?)

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