strong/weak typing and pointers

Steven Bethard steven.bethard at gmail.com
Wed Nov 3 08:59:27 CET 2004


Mike Meyer <mwm <at> mired.org> writes:
> 
> First of all, let's mention a truly weakly-typed language. BCPL, one
> of C's predecessors. Variables don't have types, they just hold
> words.

So BCPL had no compile time checking?  If this is true, BCPL is a good example
of a dynamically- and weakly-typed (PL theory definition) language...

> Finally, I don't see that there's that much difference between the two
> different definitions of 'weakly typed'.  Both can be described as
> treating an object as if it were of some type other than what it
> really is. In one case, you abuse the raw bits, and in the other you
> coerce the object to a different type.

Would you then classify BCPL as weakly- or strongly-typed?  It seems like you
might call it "strongly-typed" since every variable just holds words, so every
use of a variable is thus just the use of a word, thus you would never be
"treating an object as if it were of some type other than what it really is".

Steve




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