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What Is Strong Typing?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2014
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Strong typing is a type system that is used with programming languages and forces the programmer to enter code in a specific way as dictated by the type system and the language’s standards. The strength of strong typing can vary, but most type systems use high-strength restrictions. This is able to stop most or all invalid entries, which can help prevent coding errors. Some programming languages allow programmers to use different integers, but this typing system restricts conversions. Consistency is forced on the user, which can be beneficial, but this typing system also can take away creativity.

When someone uses a kit or programming language that has strong typing, this typing system can be set up with a high or low level of strength. High-strength means the typing system imposes strong restrictions on the user, while low strength is a little more lenient with errors and inconsistent code. While low strength is used with some systems, high strength is much more common, because the advantages of this typing system are best upheld with high strength.

Programmers may create invalid entries when creating a program, either as a mistake or on purpose to try out new coding. With a weak typing system, these errors will go through the compiler, which may cause severe errors to manifest. When strong typing is used, these errors will be brought to the programmer’s attention. The system also commonly will reject compiling the programming until the coding is fixed, ensuring that errors are minimal.

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Integers often are used with programming, and a programming language sometimes allows users to enter integers that are not consistent with the language. At the same time, if the language has a conversion tool, then this will convert the integers so they can be used. Strong typing disables this practice and refuses to accept non-standard integers.

The way in which strong typing controls the user’s implementation of a programming language means there are many advantages and disadvantages. This does not allow errors or non-standard coding, so this typing system ensures coding is consistent. It also usually ensures that the coding will work when compiled. The main disadvantage is that creativity is severely limited. If the user attempts to write coding in a way that goes against the standards, even if the code itself will work and may be better than standard coding, then strong typing still will disable the coding until the user standardizes it.

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