does lack of type declarations make Python unsafe?

Alex Martelli aleax at
Wed Jun 18 17:14:12 CEST 2003

John J. Lee wrote:

> Alex Martelli <aleax at> writes:
> [...]
>> 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;-).
> Let me magically conjure into existence a really nice language based
> on static type inference (let's have it beautifully designed, learning
> as many lessons from Python as possible, with oodles of good library
> code, including easy connection to C, C++, Java, COM, .NET, CORBA
> etc...).
> Are you going to switch your most frequent first-choice from Python to
> this statically-typed language?
> That's *not* a rhetorical question: I don't know the answer.

I don't know the answer either.  It would depend on empirical measurements
of how productive I am for my typical tasks in Python vs Magicklang, as
well as on subjective measurements of how much I enjoy using either, etc,
etc, AND market demand (effective demand, as in $$$-offered;-) for my
services in either capacity.  E.g. if Magicklang had perfect compliance
with .NET, Python yet hadn't, and oodles of customers were beating at
my door, bags of gold coins in their hands, desperately pleading for
.NET applications and consultancy, then my switching to Magicklang for
this purpose would be far from impossible -- I doubt the type inference
could be as destructive of my productivity and enjoyment, compared to the
dynamic typing alternative, as to make me refuse the $$$ in question, if,
as you say, Magicklang was so beautifully designed and Python-inspired...


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