Dynamic languages

Discussion in 'Python' started by Neuruss, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. Neuruss

    Neuruss Guest

    I've been reading an article published in E-Week entitled "Microsoft
    Lures Open-Source Programmer", which contains a definition for dynamic
    languages as follows:

    "Dynamic programming languages enable programs to change their
    structure as they run."

    I wonder if this definition is correct.
    Can we define dynamic languages this way?

    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1636906,00.asp
     
    Neuruss, Aug 27, 2004
    #1
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  2. Neuruss

    Tom B. Guest

    "Neuruss" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've been reading an article published in E-Week entitled "Microsoft
    > Lures Open-Source Programmer", which contains a definition for dynamic
    > languages as follows:
    >
    > "Dynamic programming languages enable programs to change their
    > structure as they run."
    >
    > I wonder if this definition is correct.
    > Can we define dynamic languages this way?
    >
    > http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1636906,00.asp


    I doubt that this is what they mean but a dynamic language is a language
    that is still evolving (Python) as opposed to a dead language (COBOL).

    They probably are referring to programs that can add and remove components
    during runtime.

    Tom
     
    Tom B., Aug 28, 2004
    #2
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  3. "Tom B." <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > I doubt that this is what they mean but a dynamic language is a language
    > that is still evolving (Python) as opposed to a dead language (COBOL).
    >
    > They probably are referring to programs that can add and remove components
    > during runtime.


    Dynamic refers to the typing of variables. In Python variables get a
    type dynamically when assigned a value.
    See also: http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=4639
    and several blog posting of Bruce Eckel on this subject:
    http://www.mindview.net/WebLog/

    Marcel.
     
    Marcel van den Dungen, Aug 28, 2004
    #3
  4. Neuruss

    Tom B. Guest

    "Marcel van den Dungen" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Tom B." <> wrote in message

    news:<>...
    > > I doubt that this is what they mean but a dynamic language is a language
    > > that is still evolving (Python) as opposed to a dead language (COBOL).
    > >
    > > They probably are referring to programs that can add and remove

    components
    > > during runtime.

    >
    > Dynamic refers to the typing of variables. In Python variables get a
    > type dynamically when assigned a value.
    > See also: http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=4639
    > and several blog posting of Bruce Eckel on this subject:
    > http://www.mindview.net/WebLog/
    >
    > Marcel.


    Those languages are called dynamically typed languages, this implies that
    there is a statically typed language, which there is.
    All languages are dynamic, this slang is bad computer science. There is no
    such thing as a static computer language.

    Tom
     
    Tom B., Aug 28, 2004
    #4
  5. Neuruss

    Reid Nichol Guest

    Tom B. wrote:
    > I doubt that this is what they mean but a dynamic language is a language
    > that is still evolving (Python) as opposed to a dead language (COBOL).

    During my "education" at my school of unfortunate choice I had to learn
    the script of the damned... sorry, COBOL. I learned that it has indeed
    gone through some developments in the past years ie COBOL now is object
    oriented COBOL.

    It *should* be dead though, but companies don't want to develope any new
    systems. So, they fund a programming program at some local college at
    "suggest" that they include it so that they have a work force availible
    to make changes to there system.

    That of course doesn't mean that this certain company's COBOL programmer
    lasts on average < 6 months. Which certainly is the case. Quite
    frankly I don't know how they last so long.
     
    Reid Nichol, Aug 28, 2004
    #5
  6. Neuruss

    Tom B. Guest

    "Reid Nichol" <> wrote in message
    news:rc3Yc.3346$...
    > Tom B. wrote:
    > > I doubt that this is what they mean but a dynamic language is a language
    > > that is still evolving (Python) as opposed to a dead language (COBOL).

    > During my "education" at my school of unfortunate choice I had to learn
    > the script of the damned... sorry, COBOL. I learned that it has indeed
    > gone through some developments in the past years ie COBOL now is object
    > oriented COBOL.
    >
    > It *should* be dead though, but companies don't want to develope any new
    > systems. So, they fund a programming program at some local college at
    > "suggest" that they include it so that they have a work force availible
    > to make changes to there system.
    >
    > That of course doesn't mean that this certain company's COBOL programmer
    > lasts on average < 6 months. Which certainly is the case. Quite
    > frankly I don't know how they last so long.


    I figured that I wouldn't be able to find any truly dead computer
    language. I met a technician at U of Minnesota Physics department who
    collected PDP11's and programmed only in fourth. When I asked him why he
    replied, 'If I don't do it who will'.

    Tom
     
    Tom B., Aug 28, 2004
    #6
  7. Neuruss

    Chris S. Guest

    Marcel van den Dungen wrote:

    > "Tom B." <> wrote in message news:<>...
    >
    >>I doubt that this is what they mean but a dynamic language is a language
    >>that is still evolving (Python) as opposed to a dead language (COBOL).
    >>
    >>They probably are referring to programs that can add and remove components
    >>during runtime.

    >
    >
    > Dynamic refers to the typing of variables. In Python variables get a
    > type dynamically when assigned a value.
    > See also: http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=4639
    > and several blog posting of Bruce Eckel on this subject:
    > http://www.mindview.net/WebLog/


    Personally, I think the definition can go a little further. In Python,
    if you were so inclined, you could generate completely new functionality
    through the use of exec and eval statements. This dynamic generation,
    just not addition, of functionality at runtime I think is an important
    aspect of dynamic languages.
     
    Chris S., Aug 29, 2004
    #7
  8. Neuruss

    Chris S. Guest

    Tom B. wrote:

    > "Marcel van den Dungen" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>"Tom B." <> wrote in message

    >
    > news:<>...
    >
    >>>I doubt that this is what they mean but a dynamic language is a language
    >>>that is still evolving (Python) as opposed to a dead language (COBOL).
    >>>
    >>>They probably are referring to programs that can add and remove

    >
    > components
    >
    >>>during runtime.

    >>
    >>Dynamic refers to the typing of variables. In Python variables get a
    >>type dynamically when assigned a value.
    >>See also: http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=4639
    >>and several blog posting of Bruce Eckel on this subject:
    >>http://www.mindview.net/WebLog/
    >>
    >>Marcel.

    >
    >
    > Those languages are called dynamically typed languages, this implies that
    > there is a statically typed language, which there is.
    > All languages are dynamic, this slang is bad computer science. There is no
    > such thing as a static computer language.


    I respectively disagree. The difference between static and dynamic is an
    important one. There are things I can do in Python that are synatically
    impossible in C or C++ simply due to their absence of a native eval().
     
    Chris S., Aug 29, 2004
    #8
  9. Neuruss

    Donn Cave Guest

    Quoth (Marcel van den Dungen):
    ....
    | Dynamic refers to the typing of variables. In Python variables get a
    | type dynamically when assigned a value.
    | See also: http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=4639
    | and several blog posting of Bruce Eckel on this subject:
    | http://www.mindview.net/WebLog/

    I imagine they may actually have been looking at some version of
    this: http://www.fact-index.com/d/dy/dynamic_programming_language.html
    which goes beyond static vs. dynamic typing in the sense they
    ordinarily seem to be used. I'm not sure they really put their
    finger on the main problem in the way of a Python compiler, but
    whatever.

    Donn Cave,
     
    Donn Cave, Aug 29, 2004
    #9
  10. Neuruss

    Tom B. Guest

    I was actually trying to make a point about semantics in that the terms
    'dynamic' and 'static' are too generic. In computer science it is the custom
    (but not always) to name a process as accurately as possible and use
    acronyms. This way a Dynamically Typed Language becomes DTL and a
    Dynamically Run Language becomes DRL, insuring that Python remains superior
    in more way than one.

    Tom
     
    Tom B., Aug 29, 2004
    #10
  11. Neuruss

    Steve Holden Guest

    Neuruss wrote:

    > I've been reading an article published in E-Week entitled "Microsoft
    > Lures Open-Source Programmer", which contains a definition for dynamic
    > languages as follows:
    >
    > "Dynamic programming languages enable programs to change their
    > structure as they run."
    >
    > I wonder if this definition is correct.
    > Can we define dynamic languages this way?
    >
    > http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1636906,00.asp


    Well, look at the source - it's journalism, and it's not meant to be
    strictly accurate, merely sufficiently informative for the
    mostly-uninformed.

    I don't imagine e-Week would be interested in printing a retraction
    should you find agreement on a definition in this group (which I suspect
    is rather unlikely).

    regards
    Steve
     
    Steve Holden, Aug 31, 2004
    #11
  12. Neuruss

    Peter Hansen Guest

    Neuruss wrote:

    > "Dynamic programming languages enable programs to change their
    > structure as they run."
    >
    > I wonder if this definition is correct.
    > Can we define dynamic languages this way?
    >
    > http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1636906,00.asp


    As Steve Holden points out, in effect, "sure we can", if we're
    journalists.

    But another point I haven't seen raised is that one can
    certainly say that a dynamic programming language is one
    that, like Python, allows an object to have new attributes
    or methods added (or old ones removed) on-the-fly. That
    certainly should fit the definition of "changing their
    structure", by anyone's measure, and it doesn't involve
    confusing the issue with "dynamic typing", which is not
    necessarily the same thing.

    -Peter
     
    Peter Hansen, Aug 31, 2004
    #12
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