weak typing


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weak typing

(programming)
Strict enforcement of type rules but with well-defined exceptions or an explicit type-violation mechanism.

Weak typing is "friendlier" to the programmer than strong typing, but catches fewer errors at compile time.

C and C++ are weakly typed, as they automatically coerce many types e.g. ints and floats. E.g.

int a = 5; float b = a;

They also allow ignore typedefs for the purposes of type comparison; for example the following is allowed, which would probably be disallowed in a strongly typed language:

typedef int Date; /* Type to represent a date */ Date a = 12345; int b = a; /* What does the coder intend? */

C++ is stricter than C in its handling of enumerated types:

enum animal CAT=0,DOG=2,ANT=3; enum animal a = CAT; /* NB The enum is optional in C++ */ enum animal b = 1; /* This is a warning or error in C++ */

weak typing

A programming language characteristic that allows different types of data to be moved freely among data structures, as is found in Smalltalk and other earlier object-oriented languages. Contrast with strong typing.