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Why Static Typing Came Back • Richard Feldman • GOTO 2022

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💫 Short Summary

The video discusses the evolution of programming languages from dynamic to static typing, highlighting the shift towards faster feedback loops and improved performance. It explores the benefits of static typing in preventing errors and enhancing code quality, predicting a future where static typing dominates. The segment also touches on the trade-offs between static and dynamic type systems, emphasizing the importance of simplicity in type systems for balancing performance and usability. Ultimately, the video suggests that most languages will embrace gradual typing as static typing continues to gain popularity.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Shift from dynamically typed languages to statically typed languages.
02:11
Statically typed languages like TypeScript, Python, PHP, and Ruby gaining popularity with static type systems.
Reasons behind the decline in popularity of dynamically typed languages explored.
History of programming languages from the 1950s to the 1990s to be analyzed for presence of static typing.
Factors contributing to the rise of statically typed languages discussed.
The significance of the year 1995 for programming languages JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, Java, and Delphi emerging as mainstream options.
03:15
The early days of the web emphasized fast shipping for personal websites and early web businesses in a competitive and pioneering environment.
The introduction of the Mosaic browser in 1993 marked the transition to graphical browsers, allowing for more interactive web experiences.
The importance of quickly shipping websites was evident in both personal and business web use cases during this period.
Advantages of dynamic languages for fast prototyping and shipping.
06:15
Fast feedback loop and concise syntax make dynamic languages ideal for quick development.
Statically typed languages may offer faster performance but may not impact end user experience significantly.
IDE features were limited and slower in the past due to hardware constraints, affecting development speed and performance.
Rise of dynamically typed languages in early web era driven by accessibility and better trade-offs for web use cases.
10:09
Popularity of LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python) due to expansion of web use cases.
Statically typed languages like C#, ActionScript, Go, Rust, Dart, Kotlin, TypeScript, and Swift seeing emergence of new mainstream languages.
Similar trend of new languages becoming mainstream in statically typed languages as seen in dynamic languages in the 1990s.
Evolution of static typing in programming languages.
11:43
Older syntax was verbose and ceremonial, while modern approaches are concise.
Comparison of code structure and verbosity between JavaScript and Java.
Discussion on feedback loops and changing perception of static typing over the past decade.
Impact of language evolution on developers' workflows.
Discussion on the use of Getters and Setters for fields, hash code implementation, and JSON decoding.
14:28
Explanation of POJO (plain old Java object) as a schema for defining JSON shapes.
Exploration of the comparison between statically typed and dynamically typed languages, focusing on the difference in ceremony.
Attribution of the success of Ruby on Rails to its rejection of ceremony, prioritizing fast prototyping and minimal ceremony.
Revolutionization of Ruby's popularity globally by appealing to those frustrated with Java's ceremony requirements.
Upgrading from traditional JavaScript to modern JavaScript.
17:07
The shift from using functions to 'const' and 'var' to 'const' is discussed.
Transition from dynamically typed JavaScript to statically typed TypeScript is highlighted.
Benefits of static typing, such as improved equals and hash code implementations in Java, are explained.
The advantages of static typing for early JSON validation and code maintenance are emphasized, showcasing how it enhances code quality and reliability.
Benefits of Java version in early error handling and type inference.
21:57
Specifying types upfront in Java allows for early error detection.
Rock programming language uses type inference for JSON decoding without explicit type annotations.
Java's approach allows for early validation and prevents crashes later on.
Speaker appreciates Java's approach despite not enjoying writing or reading Getters and Setters.
The benefits of static typing in programming languages.
23:40
Static typing allows for concise code without unnecessary ceremony.
Past experiences with runtime errors in Java and C++ despite passing type checks are discussed.
Null aware static type checkers are highlighted as important for catching potential issues at compile time.
Static typing is argued to offer benefits without sacrificing conciseness or efficiency.
Sound type systems in languages like Elm and Haskell prevent nil, null, and undefined errors by guaranteeing all types are fully checked at build time.
26:40
Errors are caught at compile time and never reach runtime, saving time on debugging.
This contrasts with experiences in other statically typed languages like C++ where error messages can be confusing and difficult to resolve.
Benefits of modern IDEs and their improved performance.
30:00
Autocomplete and refactor rename features are emphasized.
Faster response times and reduced lag are key advantages.
Programming languages like Elm and Typescript offer more helpful error messages.
Evolution of static typing and feedback loops, leading to faster code execution in languages like Ruby.
Advancements in compiler performance discussed.
31:51
Multi-core compilations, incremental recompiles, and faster build speeds highlighted as key improvements.
Reduction in waiting times for compiles noted.
Benchmark comparison between single-core and parallel mode builds in C++ and Delphi showcased.
Efficiency of fully statically typed languages, such as Delphi, emphasized through compiling a million lines of code in five seconds.
The benefits of TypeScript's feedback loop feature in providing immediate error indication during coding in IDE.
34:56
TypeScript's quick error detection allows for faster debugging and prevents runtime crashes.
In contrast, languages like Java with compile errors can block progress and hinder running tests without resolving all errors first.
TypeScript's gradual typing approach allows for smoother development processes.
Evolution of TypeScript error handling.
37:20
Transition from blocking compile errors to non-blocking error reports speeds up feedback loops and testing.
Static typing advancements lead to faster compile times and enhanced IDE features.
Three potential futures for static and dynamic typing are considered: return to dynamic typing, gradual typing adoption, or continued popularity of static typing.
The video analyzes the trade-offs and benefits of various programming styles to predict the future of typing.
Benefits of dynamically typed languages can be achieved in statically typed languages.
41:14
Dynamically typed languages have runtime overhead due to type checking, resulting in slower performance.
Statically typed languages can incorporate popular features from dynamic languages.
There is no evidence suggesting a swing back to dynamic typing.
Most languages are likely to embrace gradual typing in the future.
Shift towards gradually typed languages in programming.
44:00
TypeScript and Hack introduced gradual typing to existing dynamically typed languages.
Dart initially embraced gradual typing but switched to full static typing in Dart 2.0.
ActionScript remains the only language to remain gradually typed from day one, despite the decline of Adobe Flash.
The future of gradual typing is questioned, suggesting that static typing may continue to gain popularity due to the complexity of type systems.
Trade-offs between static and dynamic type systems in programming languages.
46:11
Static type systems like TypeScript and Sorbet offer simpler type systems but may have runtime overhead.
Dynamic type systems require checking types at runtime, leading to increased CPU work and memory usage.
Gradual type systems aim to combine both static and dynamic type checking, but they still have unavoidable downsides.
Statically typed languages like Rock prioritize performance by avoiding dynamic overhead, resulting in faster execution.
The shift towards static typing in programming languages is discussed, focusing on the benefits of type inference in reducing the need for type annotations.
49:54
Statically typed languages are predicted to dominate in the future due to fast feedback loops and non-blocking compile errors.
The evolution from dynamically typed languages to static typing was driven by the desire to ship quickly, with examples like Rails and the LAMP stack.
The future trend towards static typing is supported by improved tools and a more efficient development process.
Lack of evidence for gradual typing in programming languages.
51:30
Historical reasons include simplicity of type system and runtime overhead.
Prediction that static typing without gradual typing will become more popular.
Confidence expressed in the prediction.
Audience thanked for their attention.