The Industry choice

Cameron Laird claird at
Sat Jan 1 08:08:03 EST 2005

In article <JvjBd.45$sL2.3 at>,
Hans Nowak  <hans at> wrote:
>Paul Rubin wrote:
>> You should write unit tests either way, but in Python you're relying
>> on the tests to find stuff that the compiler finds for you with Java.
>As I wrote on my weblog a while ago, I suspect that this effect is 
>largely psychological.  You jump through hoops, declaring types all over 
>the place, checking exceptions, working around the language's 
>limitations, etc.  So when your code compiles, it *feels* safer.  Like 
>you're at least part of the way towards ensuring correctness.  All that 
>work must be good for *something*, right?  Never mind that when writing 
>unit tests for a dynamic language, you don't check for these things at 
>all.  How often do you explicitly check types in Python unit tests? 
>IMHO, when using a dynamic language, you don't need most of the checks 
>that Java, C# and their ilk force upon you.
Me, too.

That is, while I have a LOT of respect for Paul's programming
and judgment, and question myself when I'm on the side opposite
him, I ultimately value type declarations in languages such as
Java as more cost than benefit.

It's a funny position to hold, because I simultaneously recognize
that type theory is one of computing's strongest theoretical 
achievements, AND I am a strong advocate of "static" syntax checkers
such as PyChecker.  Still, I see TDD as the right place to start.

More information about the Python-list mailing list