What is Expressiveness in a Computer Language

Joachim Durchholz jo at durchholz.org
Fri Jun 16 11:22:08 CEST 2006

Raffael Cavallaro schrieb:
> On 2006-06-14 15:04:34 -0400, Joachim Durchholz <jo at durchholz.org> said:
>> Um... heterogenous lists are not necessarily a sign of expressiveness. 
>> The vast majority of cases can be transformed to homogenous lists 
>> (though these might then contain closures or OO objects).
>> As to references to nonexistent functions - heck, I never missed 
>> these, not even in languages without type inference :-)
>> [[snipped - doesn't seem to relate to your answer]]
> This is a typical static type advocate's response when told that users 
> of dynamically typed languages don't want their hands tied by a type 
> checking compiler:
> "*I* don't find those features expressive so *you* shouldn't want them."

And this is a typical dynamic type advocate's response when told that 
static typing has different needs:

"*I* don't see the usefulness of static typing so *you* shouldn't want 
it, either."

No ad hominem arguments, please. If you find my position undefendable, 
give counterexamples.
Give a heterogenous list that would to too awkward to live in a 
statically-typed language.
Give a case of calling nonexistent functions that's useful.
You'll get your point across far better that way.


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