Re: [vhdl-200x] Corrections to Minutes for VHDL-200X-FT meeting,San Jose Dec 4, 2003

Subject: Re: [vhdl-200x] Corrections to Minutes for VHDL-200X-FT meeting,San Jose Dec 4, 2003
From: Evan Lavelle (
Date: Thu Dec 18 2003 - 01:59:18 PST

Andy D Jones wrote:
> This slope is getting slippery...! First we said this would only be in
> conditionals, now we're going to extend it to expressions? Where will
> it be next? Why not just abandon strong typing altogether and "/let the
> compiler figure out what we meant/"?

I don't have a CS background, so I'm probably on slippery ground here.
However, I'll just point out that strong typing isn't incompatible with
"letting the compiler figure out what we meant".

A 'strong' type system lets us catch common programming errors. 'Static'
type systems allow these errors to be caught early, ie. at compile time.
Ideally, we need a strong static type system. ML and Haskell are in this
category, and are more strongly typed than, for example, Ada and Java.
However, these languages allow the compiler to infer the type of a
variable or expression depending on structure and context, without the
need for a programmer declaration. In other words, the compiler has to
do the work to figure out what the programmer wanted. These languages
have 'implicit' static typing, while we have 'explicit' static typing.

Having said all that, this isn't really relevant to the boolean
equivalence proposal, and it would be nice to see an academic
justification for boolean equivalence. Do any other strongly-typed
languages do this?

Evan Lavelle

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