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It's only massive if you are doing it wrong. All examples I found so far were doing it wrong. For cperl (perl5 with classes and types) I did it right instead. It took about half a year, with most parts improving the rest of the system and signatures. Ruby already has signatures, so thats out if the way. Python eg did it completely wrong, PHP is doing it right.

The goal is catch type violations with optionally declared types and constant literals, and help the compiler and optimizer to specialize ops on types, and do array and loop bounds checks, essentially moving runtime checks to compile-time checks. A good type checker should make overall code faster and safer, what you see out there are rudimentary and not scalable efforts to make it safer, but not faster.

It certainly looks like ocean boiling if you look at all the horribly bad efforts out there, comparable to pypy, unladen swallow, perl6, ... But if you look at proper type checkers and optimizers it's trivial, really.




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