Safety is Freedom

I sure stirred up a pile of flaming with my previous post. The internet flame-before-reading tradition is alive and strong. I've always been a big scripting language fan (the first language I ever learned was a "scripting" language called FOCAL). Looking at the design tradeoffs between the two language categories has always been fascinating.

One of the slogans that was brought up in the commentary to my previous blog entry was "freedom vs. safety". Once upon a time I used to believe that: it has certainly been conventional wisdom for years. But a lot of the time, the truth is actually that safety is freedom (eg. a good safety harness and rope give you the freedom to climb a mountain).

When I'm writing a function and declare a parameter to be an Image, I am free to trust that it is an Image. I'm free to trust that no one's array access has smashed my data structure. Examples abound.

December 19, 2005