What's with the love of dynamic Languages

Posted by Kibbee on Stack Overflow See other posts from Stack Overflow or by Kibbee
Published on 2008-09-04T00:46:36Z Indexed on 2010/05/26 12:21 UTC
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It seems that everybody is jumping on the dynamic, non-compiled bandwagon lately. I've mostly only worked in compiled, static typed languages (C, Java, .Net). The experience I have with dynamic languages is stuff like ASP (Vb Script), JavaScript, and PHP. Using these technologies has left a bad taste in my mouth when thinking about dynamic languages. Things that usually would have been caught by the compiler such as misspelled variable names and assigning an value of the wrong type to a variable don't occur until runtime. And even then, you may not notice an error, as it just creates a new variable, and assigns some default value. I've also never seen intellisense work well in a dynamic language, since, well, variables don't have any explicit type.

What I want to know is, what people find so appealing about dynamic languages? What are the main advantages in terms of things that dynamic languages allow you to do that can't be done, or are difficult to do in compiled languages. It seems to me that we decided a long time ago, that things like uncompiled asp pages throwing runtime exceptions was a bad idea. Why is there is a resurgence of this type of code? And why does it seem to me at least, that Ruby on Rails doesn't really look like anything you couldn't have done with ASP 10 years ago?

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