Subject: Re: type safety in LISP
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 08 Dec 2002 23:55:07 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Chris Gehlker
| [Type safety is] a big issue in the sense that it's very controversial.

  Really?  There is no controversy over type safety that I know of.
  There is great controversy over how to implement it, however.  This
  is not unlike the political scene, where /nobody/ argues that each
  individual should be left entirely alone to fend for himself.  The
  many different ways political groups argue for the implementation
  of safety measures and carefully balancing them against freedoms
  and human rights should not be interpreted to mean that those who
  do not agree with any particular measures to implement safety and
  social and national security are fighting against safety and social
  and national security.  You would have to be astonishingly ignorant
  of history, human nature, and politics to believe that core human
  needs are controversial because their means of implementation is.
  So, too, with type safety in programming languages.  /Nobody/ wants
  programming languages that only ship bits around.  /Everybody/ is
  in full agreement with everybody else that even though processors
  ship machine words around in general-purpose registers and memory
  cells that can hold any machine word, it is considered imprudent to
  design programming languages that do not retain type information in
  some form and ensure that a machine word that represents a value of
  one type is not confused with another.  Controversial this is not.

| There are many very smart people who think it sucks.

  Can you name one person who thinks type safety sucks who is not
  also a complete moron with zero understanding of what it means?

  If /you/ confuse type safety with explicit, static typing, that is
  your problem and you should upgrade yourself forthwith.  Please do
  not repeat your conflated misunderstanding.

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.