The debates are endless and tiring, you can get a taste at stackoverflow.
But when push comes to shove, and you really want to know what is the actual real-life difference between statically typed (aka Java) and dynamically typed (aka python) programming languages...
It all comes down to this simple explanation:
- Dynamically typed = Easy Get up
- Statically typed = Easy Maintenance
When using dynamically typed languages, you are much faster in constructing a new project, and you need less lines of code than a statically typed language to do most things. Later on, when you'd want to poke around and change stuff, it would probably be harder.
When using statically typed languages, it's easier to maintain, change and refactor the code, but you have to do more work to get things going.
For example, defining and sorting a list:
List<integer> a = new ArrayList<integer>(); a.add(5); a.add(2); a.add(3); a.add(1); a.add(4); Collections.sort(a);
sorted([5, 2, 3, 1, 4])
As you can see, Java (static) is longer to type and you have to know about many keywords, pyhton (dynamic) is much shorter and self explanatory...
But if one day, you would want to change some of the objects in the list, and accidentally put a "text" object instead of a "number":
python would just handle it and treat all of the objects in the list as text objects. You would only find out about your mistake when the program runs and a human actually looks at the output and realizes something is misplaced.
Where in Java, the program will not even run, so you would know immediately where and what to fix.
You can say that python is "smarter" because it adapts to the data, and you would have a point... but when you have thousands of lines of code, and many programmers, you want zero flexibility and you want to be notified of any inconsistency.
So to sum it up:
If you want speed at the beginning, use a dynamic language.
If you want easier long-term maintenance, use a static language.
What do you think? comments/corrections are welcome...