I wonder if one could take advantage of Unit tests to provide some runtime 
information about what references correspond to what classes. If your 
coverage is fairly complete it may be possible to get a pretty good idea 
about what types things end up as - at least sufficient enough the tests. 
Which would be good enough for me.

-Tom


On Tue, 19 Nov 2002, Gavin Sinclair wrote:

> From: "Damon" <adamon / mailandnews.com>
> 
> 
> > "Rich Kilmer" <rich / infoether.com> wrote
> 
> > > I must say Idea (Intellij) _IS_ the best thing since sliced bread for
> > > Java.  After a year of NOT doing Java devt (after 6 full-time Java
> > > years) I had to go back to it.  If it wasn't for Idea, I don't think I
> > > would have survived.  Its quite amazing what one can do with a
> > > statically typed language.  Which brings me to what Gavin said.  Ruby is
> > > quite usable and lots of the crap that Java forces you to do manually,
> > > Ruby does for you.  But without static typing we may be somewhat
> > > limited...time will tell
> >
> > Can you expound on this a little?  What are the major benefits of
> > static-typing?  I've programmed in statically-typed languages for a
> > long time, and felt liberated when I switched to Ruby and Smalltalk.
> > There have been long debates about this issue before, with advocates
> > of dynamically-typed languages claiming that static-typing (in
> > imperative programming, not in functional languages) is oversold, and
> > that the benefits of compile-time type hecking are outweighed by the
> > limitations of code-factoring and the bother of having to write
> > boilerplate code in order to appease the type-checker.  I'm interested
> > in this alternate perspective, especially in regard to Java.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Damon
> 
> 
> Out of context error.  Your understanding will shut down :)
> 
> Rich was extolling the virtues of static typing from an IDE writer's point of
> view, not a general programmer's.
> 
> The static-typing IDE in question, IntelliJ IDEA, would not conceivably be
> anywhere near as powerful if Java was dynamically typed.  Countering this,
> however, is the efficiency of Ruby coding as opposed to Java, so a massive IDE
> is not needed.
> 
> There's hope, though.  The Smalltalk Refactoring Browser has a good reputation,
> so it must be possible to mix advanced IDEs and dynamic languages somehow.
> 
> Gavin
> 
> 
> 
>