What is Expressiveness in a Computer Language

Chris Smith cdsmith at twu.net
Fri Jun 23 22:13:07 CEST 2006

Dr.Ruud <rvtol+news at isolution.nl> wrote:
> Chris Smith schreef:
> > Static types are not fuzzy
> Static types can be fuzzy as well. For example: a language can define
> that extra accuracy and bits may be used for the implementation of
> calculations: d = a * b / c
> Often some minimum is guaranteed.

Who cares how many bits are declared by the type?  Some specific 
implementation may tie that kind of representation information to the 
type for convenience, but the type itself is not affected by how many 
bits are used by the representation.  The only thing affected by the 
representation is the evaluation semantics and the performance of the 
language, both of which only come into play after it's been shown that 
the program is well-typed.

> The 'dynamic type' is just another type.

That's essentially equivalent to giving up.  I doubt many people would 
be happy with the conclusion that dynamically typed languages are typed, 
but have only one type which is appropriate for all possible operations.  
That type system would not be implemented, since it's trivial and 
behaves identically to the lack of a type system, and then we're back 
where we started.

Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer / Technical Trainer
MindIQ Corporation

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