Dynamic Typing Definition & Meaning

Dynamic typing permits a program script to be compiled even if it has idiosyncrasies or errors. In programming, typing or data types refer to the attributes that describe a particular part of a program and determine how that part works. For example, data typing includes giving values to variables. Typing specifies how to use data within a program.

Programming languages with dynamic typing don’t require variables’ data types to be defined when the program is compiled. If part of the program has errors or its data types are unclear, dynamically typed languages won’t flag that issue until the program runs.

Examples of programming languages with dynamic typing include Python, Ruby, and Perl.

Difference between dynamic and static typing

Dynamic typing differs from static typing, which doesn’t allow code with errors or idiosyncrasies to be compiled. A statically language usually flags those problems before the program can be compiled. A statically typed language takes more time to write and compile because it is more structured.

Dynamic typing allows a program script to be compiled even if the data types have errors or inconsistencies. Dynamically typed languages don’t flag those issues during compilation but instead wait until run time. Dynamically typed programs are often faster to write than statically typed programs.

Pros and cons of dynamic typing

Dynamic typing doesn’t require as many variables to be defined. This can make writing a program faster. The program will also make assumptions and compensate depending on how variables and data types are written, which can provide flexibility. But that can lead to problems in the program’s future as well: if a data type has been written two different ways, for example, the use of the corresponding variable will be unclear.

Dynamic typing can be helpful for writing programs and applications that will change frequently or just need data types to be flexible. Although very large programs usually benefit from the structure of static typing, developers creating smaller, stand-alone applications may find dynamically typed language useful for quickly writing the code. This depends on the program being written and the language used.


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Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a contributor for websites such as Webopedia.com and Enterprise Storage Forum. She writes about information technology security, networking, and data storage. Jenna lives in Nashville, TN.

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