Programming language failings [was Re: strangest systems I've sent email from]

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Fri Apr 29 20:56:01 CDT 2016

>> The main thing C has that most other languages don't is *unsafe*
>> data typing - the ability to subvert the type system at the drop of
>> a cast, and the programming tradition to do this a lot.
> {Sighs.}  You really seem to have it out for C.

I didn't write that the double-quoted text, but it seems to me that you
are reading a pejorative attitude into it that I'm not sure belongs
there.  That _is_ one of the bigger things C has - and, like many
language features, it's a double-edged sword.  It makes possible a lot
of things, many useful, many dangerous, and in some cases, even, both
at once.

It is possible to come fairly close to type-safe C.  But even in the
most type-safe of my programs, I sometimes find a need to break the
type safety for one reason or another - and C lets me do that without
extreme gyrations.  (I remember the FORTRAN I used in my larval phase,
back in the 1980s under VMS; IIRC doing the equivalent of following a
pointer was rather difficult without the use of a helper routine and a
language extension.)

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