Re: dynamic_cast is ugly!

James Kanze <>
Tue, 11 Mar 2008 08:17:44 -0700 (PDT)
On Mar 10, 3:13 pm, Matthias Buelow <> wrote:

Jeff Schwab wrote:

"modularity" makes the list of things covered in typical
undergraduate courses, but "static type safety" does not.
What really irritates me is that kids coming out of school
seem to have even less appreciation for static type safety
than the old-timers, so there's not a whole lot of hope in

That's probably because static typing is not a desirable
feature in programming in the first place.

That depends on whether you want your program to work reliably
or not. Violate the type system (static or dynamic), and the
code doesn't work. If the language you're using uses static
type checking, you get a compile time error. If it uses dynamic
type checking, you get long debugging sessions at the customer

It is added complexity, which is (arguably) sometimes
necessary, more necessary with some languages than others. The
languages I know that put emphasis on static type correctness
(for example, ML and Haskell) are extremely unwieldy to
program in.

I know a couple of Smalltalk experts who migrated to Java, and
had nothing but good things to say about the static type
checking provided by that language. I tend to work on more or
less critical applications, and find that even Java's static
typing is too weak for my tastes. Apparently, I'm not alone,
since since I've used it, the Java authors have felt it
necessary to add templates (improved static type checking).

No fun at all. Nobody I think, not even here, would say, "oh,
I miss static typing. It was so neat." It's a burden on the
programmer best avoided if one can.

It's a burden on the programmer, yes. It means that he actually
has to design what he writes, and document it up front, in a
standard way that even a compiler can understand.

James Kanze (GABI Software)
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