…that is the question. Rather than a Shakespeare reference, I’m here referring to a term in software development which determines how a language deals with variables, for example.
When you create a variable in a computer language, it’s usually something like this:
var someVarName = 1;
Two Schools of Thought
There are two camps out there: those who like languages which force the variable type and those who don’t.
A statically-typed language usually involves a step in which your code is converted into something else (compiling) and any type-related issues must be fixed before a program can be created.
A dynamically-typed language is run “as is” and the code is evaluated at the moment of truth—determinations about the type of a variable are made at this time. If there is a type-related issue, your end-user could be the first person to see the error.
The Pendulum Swings
Over the past three decades, the popularity of either approach has waxed and waned. It’s safe to suggest for the moment that the less-strict languages are gaining rapidly in popularity over their stricter counterparts.
Seeing the Future
I don’t know, though. Maybe it’s time that we just relax and let the cat hang out in the fish bowl.