What is Expressiveness in a Computer Language

Andreas Rossberg rossberg at ps.uni-sb.de
Wed Jun 21 17:52:54 CEST 2006


Joachim Durchholz wrote:
>>
>>> It's worth noting, too, that (in some sense) the type of an object 
>>> can change over time[*].
>>
>> No. Since a type expresses invariants, this is precisely what may 
>> *not* happen.
> 
> No. A type is a set of allowable values, allowable operations, and 
> constraints on the operations (which are often called "invariants" but 
> they are invariant only as long as the type is invariant).

The purpose of a type system is to derive properties that are known to 
hold in advance. A type is the encoding of these properties. A type 
varying over time is an inherent contradiction (or another abuse of the 
term "type").

- Andreas



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