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Re: A beginner interjects

Shriram wrote:
> I'd recommend that anyone interested in truly understanding types 
> -- or, at the very least, in having a conversation about types with
> an academic -- work through at least sections 1-3 and section 5 of
> Benjamin Pierce's new book, "Types and Programming Languages" 
> (no, not available on-line).

I'll second that.  I picked up a copy from the MIT Press bookstore when I went up to Boston for the PLT seminar thingy.  Although the text isn't online, the book can be purchased online - try this URL:


It's a lot more complete and accessible than the hodge-podge of papers 
and books I've previously worked through to get at similar material. 
 OTOH, if you're not already familiar with some type theory, I suspect 
you'll have to work at it a bit in many parts, i.e. it's not geared 
towards your average Perl programmer. :)  I assume it's intended as a 
textbook, and as such, it looks excellent.  (Wish I'd had such textbooks 
when I did CS!)

And yes, most of the current discussion is dealt with early on, in about 
two pages on static vs. dynamic type checking, and safe vs. unsafe 
languages.  But it doesn't really address the issue of whether or not 
it's a good idea to use unsafe, purely statically-checked languages.  If 
you're reading the book at all, you're assumed to already know better! ;)