strong/weak typing and pointers

Steven Bethard steven.bethard at
Thu Nov 4 01:55:34 CET 2004

Alex Martelli <aleaxit <at>> writes:
> Steven Bethard <steven.bethard <at>> wrote:
> > On the other hand, I haven't really seen any good
> > cases for wanting weak-typing in a statically-typed language either.
> How would an operating system's filesystems store arbitrary sequences of
> bytes (which might be floats, int, whatever -- only the application
> knows) into disk pages (blocks of, say , 4096 bytes each) otherwise?

Valid point of course.  But the OS doesn't really take advantage of weak-typing
here if it takes an arbitrary sequence of bytes and stores an arbitrary sequence
of bytes.  I haven't written much OS code (just a prototype system back in
undergrad), but I never cast one type of struct to another -- to and from void*,
but never between types.

Of course, I'm sure there're are a number of good reasons to do so -- my claim
was only that I hadn't seen them.  I'd be grateful if you could point me to an
example.  =)

> Even if you design a new OS based on a filesystem whose files are all
> "strongly typed"

You really do think I'm satan, don't you? ;)


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