Yesterday over lunch, we indulged in a discussion about the need for defensive programming and whether strong typing in Java still offers many advantages over loosely-typed programming languages such as Python, in your typically ReSTy multi-tier loosely-coupled XML-centric application. I was definitely sitting on the other side of the fence from Marc and Bruno, and due to their combined brain mass, I knew I really shouldn't try to convince them when not coming up with some real arguments. Surprisingly, this morning my RSS aggregator brought me, via Sean, to a nice article on Artima from Robert Martin, with a very interesting discussion following up. Grin. I'm starting to believe that XML, which is used quite often as a loose interface definition, will slowly help people to shift away from the stereotypical defensive programming approach, as John has been advocating for quite some time. After Michael's great XMLQuery talk earlier this week, I was chatting with him on the requisite of using XML Schema if you really wanted to benefit from all new language aspects in XSLT2 and XPath2. Although he pointed out that people do need to use some form of schemas anyhow if they want to store data into a database efficiently, I'm still convinced that schema-less XML is still in heavy use.