Types as Concretions
I love that space where coding and philosophy collide.
Rich Hickey talked about types, such as Java classes and Haskell ADTs, as concretions, not abstractions.
People often talk about a
Personclass representing a person. But it doesn’t. It represents information about a person.
Persontype, with certain fields of given types, is a concrete choice about what information you want to keep out of all of the possible choices of what information to track about a person.
An abstraction would ignore the particulars and let you store any information about a person.
– Eric Normand, Clojure vs. The Static Typing World
From the same piece, how Clojure was designed to make a certain kind of software easier to write.
A type of software characterized as:
solving a real-world problem
=>must use non-elegant models
running all the time
=>must deal with state and time
interacting with the world
=>must have effects and be affected
everything is changing
=>must change in ways you can’t predict