does lack of type declarations make Python unsafe?

Alex Martelli aleax at
Wed Jun 18 11:15:50 CEST 2003

Tim Rowe wrote:

> On Tue, 17 Jun 2003 07:56:14 GMT, Alex Martelli <aleax at>
> wrote:
>>I guess that's the crux of the matter -- and this "research you've
>>seen" appears to give results that directly contradict the everyday
>>experience reported by the growing band of users of dynamically
>>typed languages.
> [fx: looks at unstable four-foot pile of unsorted technical papers]
> Er, there will be a short delay at this point! (Though if it prompts
> me to sort that pile out at last then something good will have come of
> this!)

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...

> Don't forget that I'm here because I /like/ Python, by the way -- I
> just don't think it's right for /everything/.  I don't think /any/
> language /can/ be!

I agree, and indeed believe that the attempts to make languages that
ARE good at everything produce languages that are just too large to
fit comfortably in most humans' heads.

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;-).


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