This tag is for questions that aren't specific to a programming language or environment.

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1
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1answer
47 views

Specifying domain-specific data structures as an open standard

I am interested in creating a specification for the representation of complex hierarchical (domain-specific) data in a way that is independent of implementation. Think of a blueprint from which you ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Separate context-dependent information from the core logic code

Say, I have a code file where all the core logic is located. In addition, I have some custom logic that is defined by some flags, like if (a && b && c) {} if (!e && f) {} ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

How do you represent an object when you need to know which subtype you're working with?

I have some data that I need to represent in a form. As an example, it might look like this (in psuedo-json): [ { "value1" : "int" "value2" : "{1, 2, 3, 4, 5}" "value3" : "...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

What is the difference between running two blocks of code on the same thread and running them on two synchronous threads?

Suppose I have two blocks of code, A and B. A is to be executed before B. As I understand, I can do one of two things: 1) Put B in a separate thread that is to be executed after A's thread, or 2) Put ...
2
votes
3answers
184 views

Why are arrays often treated as second-class citizens?

In many programming languages, arrays don't get as much attention as other data structures. In Java, there is no Array<T> type collection to make arrays feel more consistent, such as in ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Should we try to be as technology agnostic as much as possible?

It is true that we cannot be 100% technology agnostic when we are using a framework or tool, we will be always at least 20% dependent on the tool or framework. The thing is that I feel better if I ...
0
votes
3answers
250 views

What are the problems with boolean variables? [closed]

Why is it that some languages don't even have a boolean type (and uses a constant TRUE instead), but they have many other and modern types? Sometimes it can be trouble if you make a boolean and then ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

How do I create a parse tree, given a grammar? [closed]

I'm implementing a toy programming language and I've got as far as a working tokenizer that takes a stream of characters like this. 1 2 3 (2 *) map And outputs a stream of tokens { number "1" } { ...
30
votes
7answers
1k views

Why do most mainstream languages not support “x < y < z” syntax for 3-way Boolean comparisons?

If I want to compare two numbers (or other well-ordered entities), I would do so with x < y. If I want to compare three of them, the high-school algebra student will suggest trying x < y < z....
4
votes
3answers
142 views

Who is responsible for checking object properties such as Visible/Enabled?

Say we have a user interface with Forms, Buttons and such. Each item has some properties (such as Visible, Enabled, etc.). Who should check on these properties and decide whenever to render the item ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Filtering algorithm for word game

Suppose you have a number of anagrams for the same letters, for example: alerting altering integral relating triangle Suppose you have a game where you must find all the anagrams, by placing letters ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Bound Variadic Arguments: Bitmask vs Array

Intro The following assumes C# as a reference language, or any other statically typed language. This is not a question specific to Unity's API, but it is used as an example. In Unity's API, most ...
5
votes
3answers
447 views

Why should a language prefer indentation over explicit markers for blocks?

I am learning Haskell, and I was looking for an auto indentation tool. I didn't look much, and learned that in Haskell (as in Python), indentation signifies a block. As a result, I'm guessing that it'...
4
votes
2answers
62 views

Is it a good idea not to embed certain one-to-one relationships in a Mongo database?

I'm designing a NoSQL database schema - MongoDB in particular - and I'm wondering if it's a good idea not to embed certain one-to-one relationships. For one example, I have an accounts collection, ...
5
votes
3answers
229 views

Design: How to avoid breaking backward compatibility because of database changes

This is my scenario, I have this interface: public interface hitTheDataBase { public void insertMe(String [] values); public void modifyMe(String [] values); public DataTable selectMe(); }...
0
votes
2answers
208 views

Do some built-in functions loop behind the scenes?

I mostly code in C# & VB, but I think this question is pretty universal. I try to limit loops to increase performance. For instance, string functions that split the string into an array, or do a ...
0
votes
3answers
83 views

How to represent an object with actions that can only be used in a specific situation?

Let's say I'm designing an RPG type game, and this game has a turn-based combat system. There are some things that the player character/non-player characters can do inside and outside of combat. For ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Lower class count vs explicitness

To help with an application that manipulates and works from an XML structure to produce other information, I've created a class structure that closely follows the XML structure. So, the XML is: <...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Does storing a value in a variable uses more RAM than using it directly?

I mean, does something, for example in C#, like String test = "Test"; txtCtrl.Text = test; consumes more RAM than just txtCtrl.Text = "Test"; ? As it's said, a variable is a reserved space in ...
35
votes
7answers
4k views

Arguments against error suppression

I've found a piece of code like this in one of our projects: SomeClass QueryServer(string args) { try { return SomeClass.Parse(_server.Query(args)); } ...
1
vote
4answers
707 views

Why do so many languages restrict string literals to a single source line? [closed]

In, for example, the Bash scripting language, the following creates a string called $VAR which begins at the first " quote and continues until the next unescaped " quote. $VAR=" hello world! ...
2
votes
1answer
265 views

Word game algorithm

Back in the days of 8-bit machines there existed an educational word game. I have no idea what it was actually called but for the sake of this question (since it involves pyramids) let's call it ...
2
votes
4answers
155 views

Is the var token necessary to signal variable declaration?

When creating a variable foo, Python lets you just write foo = bar. However many languages, like C# or JavaScript, require additional syntax like var foo = bar or foo := bar to signal the same thing. ...
1
vote
2answers
153 views

How are non-folder files called? [closed]

Maybe it looks like a weird question, but what term should be attributed inside the code for files that are not folders to differentiate them from folders? If I need write 2 functions isFolder() and ...
8
votes
3answers
173 views

Indentation in a multi-language file [closed]

In files that contain multiple languages (ie. template files), are there any best practises regarding indentation? I mostly use this: <div> IF FOO <div> <p>...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

Avoid This Pointer

PROBLEM: this points to different instances at different stages of execution (as it should). But it is not always obvious which instance is that. On the other hand we could minimize the use of this, ...
7
votes
3answers
363 views

What would be a good approach to generate a tree of folders?

Say I have an array of strings, like this: var folders = new[] { "Foo", "Bar", "Foo\Bar" "Foo\Bar\Baz" }; And that I have an object that represents a folder - something like this: ...
4
votes
4answers
219 views

How to prevent user from requesting API method multiple times in parallel?

Let's say we have an app where the users gain points and can exchange them for rewards. The exchange request, in pseudo-code, could look like this: function exchangePointsForReward(userId, rewardId){ ...
3
votes
3answers
232 views

How to “program to an interface”

I've read these questions: Understanding "programming to an interface" What is the point of an interface? Does it always make sense to "program to an interface" in Java? I don'...
5
votes
6answers
651 views

Is it an overkill to write unit tests for a small code base? [duplicate]

I am the sole maintainer of a code base of about 2000 lines of code. It's not big, but over time the code became so unmaintainable my boss agreed to give me time to rewrite it from scratch. Since the ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

How to integrate modified generated code into the build process?

I'm using a code generator which has the following workflow: Configure stuff Generate code Modify generated code with user code at specifically annotated positions. If changes are required to the ...
-1
votes
2answers
78 views

Abstract Syntax Tree with parent or not? [closed]

My question is as simple as the title says -- should I implement AST with parent or not? Currently I implemented it with parent -- the benefit of that approach is, that whatever I use, I can go up or ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

How to ensure feature parity of a product across different platforms

this question looks like How to plan/manage multi-platform (mobile) products but the answers there suggest using abstractions to ensure a common code repo, which is something that we decided not to do....
25
votes
1answer
6k views

Is there really a fundamental difference between callbacks and Promises?

When doing single-threaded asynchronous programming, there are two main techniques that I'm familiar with. The most common one is using callbacks. That means passing to the function that acts ...
16
votes
4answers
663 views

How to write maintainable, not brittle, unit tests for a GUI?

I tried writing UI unit tests for my GUI apps and I face the problem that, while they work well when I initially write them, they turn out to be brittle and they break whenever the design changes (...
3
votes
3answers
104 views

How to design access to different type objects in protocol response

I have written a communication library for an industrial device protocol. The response frame contains a byte array as payload data. The payload data consists of several "objects“ of different types, ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the name for the 'spec' of a function/method?

I'm pretty sure there is a special name for the 'spec' of a function/method. It's a word that refers to how many arguments it takes the order of arguments which arguments are optional Is there a ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

Writing comments for some small code with rather large background [duplicate]

So I had to write some code related to splitting Bezier curves into parts. I read through several references and particularly referred this rather detailed one. The final code outcome is however ...
19
votes
2answers
460 views

How different is garbage collection in pure languages?

In a pure language like Haskell, all data is immutable and no existing data structures can be changed in any way. Additionally, many algorithms on immutable data and functional programming patterns ...
1
vote
4answers
456 views

How to represent an algorithm as a class?

I am trying to understand how to design classes which take an input, do some processing, and return a result. More specifically, should the object store the intermediate results between function calls ...
3
votes
6answers
520 views

Unifying two implementation through an interface

I have a simple object like this public class Book { public List Chapters { get; private set; } public TableOfContent BookTOC { get; set; } public string Identifier { ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Pattern for “Assembling” result from multiple datasources

I'm creating a server in Java (although this question is language agnostic) that will do the following: Pull a set of "leads" from a database every 10 minutes For all leads with a certain marker, ...
0
votes
2answers
174 views

Are private members useful anymore? [duplicate]

Watchpoints and data break points make it possible to watch the changes of a value in memory in many languages. Much of the justification I have seen for getters and setters and private variables ...
2
votes
4answers
213 views

Using variable + method invocation or repeating invocation?

Here is two methods that does the same thing. One is repeating the call to the method Print where the other one does not but has an additional variable. class Program { static void Main(string[] ...
7
votes
3answers
426 views

Origin of “a method should return a value or have side-effects, but not both”

I read once that a method should either have a return value (and be referentially transparent), or have side-effect(s), but not both. I cannot find any references to this rule, but want to learn more ...
4
votes
2answers
340 views

Is this data model a list or tree?

Using python syntax with below environment diagram, teacher taught us that there are 11 trees(orange boundary) in this diagram, including leaf. It has been taught here, lists are represented as a ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

What is a good metric for guiding a switch from a prototyping language to a production language? [duplicate]

By "prototyping language", I mean one which was chosen by virtue of it's relative ease of quickly accomplishing the sort of design changes common to prototyping in a particular context. (such as data ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Storing exception information as a member variable for query later, bad practice? [duplicate]

I looking at the best way to handle exceptions, the answer to this question may be to handle the exception in a different place or to not handle to exception at all but to control the flow of the code....
3
votes
2answers
148 views

What is a proper way to chain instructions if previous one is ok [duplicate]

I'm currently working on a big file I have to parse and process and each step needs to be done in an order as I do SQL queries and need inserted IDs to make other insertions ... The problem is I often ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

Passing same argument to multiple small functions versus doing everything in one big function?

I have inherited a class method from another developer, which looks like below: (Note: Class:X means X is a member of Class in the OOP paradigm.) Class:BigFunction() { ImportantValue = ...