PEP 3107 and stronger typing (note: probably a newbie question)

Paul Rubin http
Thu Jul 12 09:37:37 CEST 2007


aleax at mac.com (Alex Martelli) writes:
> If what you wonder about, and the theory mentioned by Clemmer and
> detailed by the AQF, are both true, then this may help explain why some
> programmers are fiercely innovative why other, equally intelligent ones,
> prefer to stick with some plodding, innovation-killing process that only
> works well for repetitive tasks: the latter group may be the ones who
> "dread errors", and therefore miss the "making mistakes, experiencing
> failures, and learning from them" that is "how we improve".

The idea of designing languages with more and more support for
ensuring program correctness is to put the established, repetitive
processes into the computer where it belongs, freeing the programmer
to be innovative while still providing high assurance of that the
program will be right the first time.  And some of the most innovative
work in software is going into this area today.  

Also, taking a learn-from-mistakes approach is fine and dandy if the
consequences of the mistakes stay contained to those who make them.
It's completely different if the consequences are imposed on other
people who weren't part of the process.  Vast amounts of software
today (and I mean the stuff that clpy denizens write for random web
servers or desktop apps, not just scary stuff like nuclear reactor
code) has the potential to screw people who had nothing to do with the
development process.  It's unreassuring to hear the the developers say
"oh cool, we learned from the mistake" when that happens.  So, it's
irresponsible to deliberately choose development processes that
externalize risks onto outsiders that way.



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