[swift-evolution] Proposal: Introduce User-defined "Dynamic Member Lookup" Types
benjamin.garrigues at gmail.com
Fri Dec 1 10:07:42 CST 2017
On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 4:35 PM, Jon Gilbert via swift-evolution <
swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> > On Nov 30, 2017, at 08:10, Karl Wagner via swift-evolution <
> swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> > Personally, I feel this system is designed to let you write Python,
> using Swift as a wrapper language - except unlike with Objective-C,
> Let me paraphrase the proposal—it basically says this system is designed
> to make it easier to “fake import” existing Python/Ruby/JS libs to make it
> easier for people who depend on them to adopt Swift. Especially in the
> world of server-side Swift, I can see how this could help speed Swift’s
As a sidenote, the weakest points of python on the server side is
compile-time type safety (none) and concurrency (almost none either). If we
want to convince anyone at the moment to switch to swift on the backend,
i'd say the urgent part isn't to make one or two function calls to a python
library more "swifty" (but without any guarantee that we didn't mistype a
function name). I'd say we should better focus on having a great agent
concurrency model, as well as even better generics and faster compile time.
>From what i've observed around me, people seem to migrate python code to
golang. Not ruby or lisp.
> However, I believe that you bring up an extremely valid concern. To
> extrapolate from your points, this proposal seems to have a high potential
> to erode what makes Swift special, and it provides a way to get around
> Swift’s safe-guards, avoid writing Swift versions of libraries, and
> ultimately, avoid hiring real Swift developers.
> > it doesn’t have any static information about what you can do or not. It
> can’t provide the “safe by default” guarantees are other core principles
> and set Swift apart from other languages.
> Look how JSON parsing is done in Swift 3.2 and 4.0—we make static types.
> The 1’s and 0’s from a web response go through layers of proper error
> handling before they become proper types Swift.
> So why does this proposal keeps mentioning JSON parsing as an excuse for
> making a dynamic ghetto within the language? Because some people are
> parsing untyped JSON? Well, the solution for that is, type your frickin’
> Why compromise Swift’s static-ness and roll out the red carpet for the
> dynamic, unwashed masses?
> Wouldn’t it be better to create an AI that quickly translates Pyton, Ruby,
> or JS into Swift? Augustus built huge public bathhouses for the unwashed
> > When we consider interoperability with other languages, it should be
> from the perspective of mapping their features to Swift’s philosophies.
> > This proposal takes the reverse approach, and makes Swift like Python,
> so I’m against it.
> This is my concern as well.
> Perhaps there is a way to make the proposal require that you declare Swift
> types and protocols that map to these other languages, with verbose error
> handling for when this glue breaks down (just like we have for typed JSON).
> Then, we could also make scripts that auto-generate the necessary Swift
> typing boilerplate interface code from the Python/Ruby/JS source, kinda
> like we get for Obj.-C bridging headers. This could be a good step towards
> the full AI translation that I mentioned.
> Of course, maybe I am missing something here, and my opinion is wrong;
> Chris will let us know if these concerns are valid.
> However, I hope we don’t hear how we are just being paranoid, because I
> assure you, this is not paranoia. It’s just about maintaining the
> static-ness and purity of Swift to help save the world from bad code.
> Everything in life and engineering is a trade-off. Swift’s trademark is
> that it consistently sacrifices the convenience of dynamic-ness for the
> safety and performance of static-ness. This proposal does seem to do the
> opposite, and we’d be naive not to fear the effect this will have.
> Ask yourself... what if Product knows about it? The last conversation a
> tech lead or engineering manager wants to have, I would imagine, is to
> explain on deaf ears why it would be bad to cut costs by farming out the
> iOS work to a cheap Python shop overseas, then just wrap it in sugary
> compiler hooks. Or why it would be bad for a Swift project to depend upon a
> stack of third-language dependencies that CocoaPods/Carthage can’t manage,
> XCode can’t analyze, stack traces can’t delve into (or can it?), lldb can’t
> step through, etc.
> I do not believe this is unreasonable paranoia, I just believe it looks
> that way to people who work with an elite squad of engineers at a top
> company, who have perhaps not seen what goes on at most places, where
> budgets are tight and lots of people are not the biggest fans of Apple.
> It’s already with much grinding of teeth that non-Windows, non-Linux devs
> are necessary.
> Given Swift’s emphasis on safety, this push to make danger easier really
> does surprise me, unless I just don’t understand this correctly. Have we
> re-evaluated the importance of having the language itself prohibit bad
> practices? Or is there some reason why this proposal does not actually make
> it easier to write code that looks like good, type-safe Swift code, but
> actually isn’t?
> Finally, to really be honest, may I ask why web devs, many of whom never
> touched a line of Swift, deserve all this dynamic sugar, while on the other
> hand, we SWIFT devs don’t get any? How will people feel who were told that
> dynamic is so unsafe that Swift was designed to prevent it altogether?
> People who have been through all the migrations and member-wise trenches
> might chafe a bit. Is that unreasonable?
> proposal, is there anything that would prevent the “fake import” of
> masquerading Swift modules? In other words, could lazy devs who want hacky
> dynamic-ness abuse this? If so then maybe I’m in favor after all ;P (Just
> - Jon
> PS—I am just trying to think critically here. Ultimately this proposal
> would not hurt me, but I am just worried about the big picture. I can see
> why it’s a tough call and I am sure that some pressures exist that might
> make even this compromise to be worth it. I just feel like we should not
> underestimate how much bad will come along with the good, nor should we
> assume, “Well that kind of bad would never happen where I work, and only
> idiots would abuse this.”
> swift-evolution mailing list
> swift-evolution at swift.org
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