Moving Beyond The Typing Debate?
Maybe the readers of my blog are more astute (and better looking!) than average, but I was happy that several comments to my recent post on type inference were properly dismissive of what one called "the static vs. dynamic holy war." As I said when writing about the myth of better programming languages last year, different programming languages engage your mind in different ways and that is what is worth pursuing. There was a time when I was programming professionally in two languages: C and Prolog. They engaged my mind in such profoundly different ways that shifting between them felt like the clutch on the '77 Ford van I was driving at the time (three-on-the-tree, baby), but in terms of problem solving, I felt like Superman. Now, first-class functions have entered the mainstream (primarily via C#) and that, in combination with \<a href="http://188.8.131.52/papers/mapreduce-osdi04.pdf"" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an influential paper about Google's MapReduce programming model has led people to begin to see what functional programming advocates have been talking about lo these many years.
Similarly, people are beginning to realize that concurrency models just might be important in the coming years and are beginning to pay attention to languages like \<a href="http://www.erlang.org/"" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Erlang. (Incidentally, O'Reilly & Associates seems to be betting that "shared nothing" is the way to go, a conclusion that I think is certainly too sweeping and premature. ORA is the most influential publishing house in software development right now, so the biases of their editors in this area will have a noticeable impact on the debate in the years to come.)
Update: No sooner had I written this post when I see in my Inbox that Pragmatic Bookshelf has published \<a href="http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9781934356005/"" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Programming Erlang. Look for a review in the coming weeks...