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Why JavaScript Programmers Hate You: an ode to dynamic languages, Jan Vitek

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Published on Oct 18, 2013

Formal approaches to program correctness through static software verification have influenced the design of programming languages, programming models, and developer tools for the last fifty years. Yet static techniques can only handle a small fraction of the programs written in the languages they claim to target. By and large academic research in the field has been about analyzing languages that all look and feel like Pascal; languages with a static type discipline and with read-only programs. This has very little to do with popular languages in use today. Languages like JavaScript, Python, Lua and R where typing is dynamic and new behaviors can be synthesized at runtime through powerful reflective programming interfaces. Instead of embracing dynamism and trying to support popular programming idioms, our community keeps proposing solutions that impose static disciplines on programmers. We keep trying to find the inner Pascal in every JavaScript. This is bound to drive practitioners away and ensure our continued irrelevance. Are we bound to repeat history or is there a way out?

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