Chapter 1. Programming Dynamically!

In This Chapter

  • Understanding dynamic typing

  • Defining variables

  • Putting dynamic to use

  • Making static operations dynamic

For many years, I thought that dynamic programming referred to being really flashy and flamboyant while writing code. So, I started wearing Hawaiian shirts and singing loudly.

Later, I found out this isn't the case.

Dynamic programming is another one of those buzzwords that really doesn't have a clear definition. At its loosest, it means developing something in such a way that the program makes more decisions about the way it runs while running, rather than when you compile it.

Scripting languages are a great example of this. When you write something in VBScript, you don't compile it at all — all of the decisions are made at runtime. Ruby is another good example: Most of the time, an entire program can just be typed into a command prompt and run right from there.

There are examples that are not so good — like VB Classic. Remember the Variant type? You could declare a variable to be Variant and VB wouldn't decide what it was supposed to be for real until the program ran. In the best of cases, this added immense flexibility to the language. In the worst of cases, you got Type Mismatch errors at runtime.


To give a concrete example, when you declare a variable in a dynamically typed language, you don't have to say what type you are making that variable. The compiler will just figure it out for you. In a static language, like C# 3.0, you ...

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