Some interesting thoughts about testing and python found among gnome developers. Joe Shaw was explaining how most new gnome apps these days are written in either python or C#. They choose C# for their app (Beagle) because "[they] wanted a strongly typed language" (I think he meant static typing but we get the point). Joe claims to have been burned by not having the compiler find "bugs".

His next two sentences are very telling:

Writing real applications in Python requires a discipline that unfortunately most people (including myself) are unwilling to adhere to, and this easily leads to buggy and hard to maintain programs. You have to be very diligent about unit tests and code coverage for every line of code, because you can’t rely on the compiler to catch errors for you.

If I read this with my cynical glasses on, I'm assuming that many java/c# developers think that testing consists of compiling the program. How sad.

In a rebuttal to Joe's dislike of dynamic typed languages, Thomas Vander Stichele claims that any language should have tests and coverage. And provides two reasons for it:

  • Confidence

  • Refactoring

Here, here, Thomas!

One wonders why all those redhat and canonical developers aren't on the static typed bandwangon for their apps, why weren't they distracted by the mono diversion?....