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

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10
votes
3answers
1k views

Are these programming “classics” still relevant today and should I read them? [closed]

I have come across numerous older posts that highly recommend the following language agnostic programming books: Code Complete by Steve McConnel The Pragmatic Programmer - Andrew Hunt and Dave ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the benefit of having the assignment operator return a value?

I'm developing a language which I intend to replace both Javascript and PHP. (I can't see any problem with this. It's not like either of these languages have a large install base.) One of the things ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Returning null or a empty value/throw exception? [duplicate]

Various programming books suggest that methods should not return null values (Clean Code for example). Instead of returning null default values (0 or empty string or empty object) should be returned ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Form cancellation. Where should any data rollback occur?

You have a form that has an object injected into it. The user interacts with the form and updates the injected object via the UI. If the user then 'Cancels' the form, whose responsibility is it to ...
5
votes
5answers
528 views

Finding most Important Node(s) in a Directed Graph

I have a large (≈ 20 million nodes) directed Graph with in-edges & out-edges. I want to figure out which parts of of the graph deserve the most attention. Often most of the graph is boring, or at ...
3
votes
4answers
268 views

How to handle affinities?

Assume we have an abstract class having several concrete classes which interfaces publish an information under several equivalent forms, with the difference that each class has a preferred form which ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

Placing arguments on their own lines [closed]

This question applies to both parameters and arguments, since I've seen this style used in both. I usually write parameters like this someFunction(arg0, arg1, arg2) but I've recently noticed that ...
15
votes
2answers
674 views

Which is better: a bunch of getters or 1 method with a selection string parameter?

Our knowledge domain involves people walking over a pressure-recording plate with their bare feet. We do image recognition which results in objects of the 'Foot' class, if a human foot is recognized ...
1
vote
1answer
239 views

Will we go back(?) to fixed-point arithmetic in the near future? [closed]

As far as I recall, this has been the ongoing trend of the past, I'm just a student, so I might be wrong: Long ago: Integer numbers and calculations. Very precise, however cannot present a big ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

Draw graph of a function whose characteristics are unknown [closed]

Suppose I have a function. I have code that, given an x value, produces a y value. I can assume that the function is somewhat mathematically sane, not something crazy like an ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I refactor a F class from code climate? [closed]

According to code climate (static quality analysis), a class is F, aka the worst mark you could be granted. I did submit a pull request to rearrange it here Which has been refused because the new ...
0
votes
1answer
123 views

Is there any use for layout managers beyond Java? [closed]

I am a beginning programmer and I was recently working on some primitive GUI apps in Java. That's where I encountered different layout managers. I browsed the web and it says that for advanced GUI ...
-1
votes
2answers
125 views

What are some examples of inverted classical inheritance? [closed]

Are there any examples of inheritance in languages where classes call their subclasses' methods rather than their super classes' methods? It should not behave like traditional inheritance like the ...
1
vote
3answers
328 views

is using a PUT with side affects acceptable (REST)

I want to create an undo history whenever the user updates a form. Because it's an update, I want to use a PUT request. However, I read that PUT needs to have no side effects. Is it acceptable to ...
5
votes
1answer
378 views

How can I implement a modular “save” function for a game?

I have to implement a method to save my game in such a way that I can change the storage medium with the change of only a single variable. Ideally I'd use an interface to designate the required ...
11
votes
1answer
879 views

How is machine learning incorporated into search engine design?

I am currently building a small in-house search engine based on Apache Lucene. Its purpose is simple - based on some keywords, it will suggest some articles written internally within our company. I am ...
7
votes
2answers
212 views

Definition of a type

Conceptually, I used to think of types as sets. However, I think I've seen people wishing to distinguish types A, B even if they represent identical collections of values. So I figured a better ...
4
votes
2answers
396 views

How to implement loose coupling?

I want to implement loose coupling in a project. I know two examples of successful loose coupling designs: On a Unix workstation, shell scripts realise a loose coupling between basic utilities. The ...
-1
votes
1answer
90 views

Term to describe keyword followed by statement block [closed]

Is there a general term to describe a keyword followed by a statement block? E.G. if() {statement block} while() {statement block} try{statement block} finally{statement block} Or even something ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

Updating password hashing without forcing a new password for existing users

You maintain an existing application with an established user base. Over time it is decided that the current password hashing technique is outdated and needs to be upgraded. Furthermore, for UX ...
7
votes
4answers
862 views

How do we keep dependent data structures up to date?

Suppose you have a parse tree, an abstract syntax tree, and a control flow graph, each one logically derived from the one before. In principle it is easy to construct each graph given the parse tree, ...
1
vote
2answers
246 views

How to handle editing a large file for a non-technical user

I have a client who is given a tab delimited .txt file containing hundreds of thousands of rows. I have a user story as follows: As a user I want to take the text file and add a new value at the ...
14
votes
3answers
386 views

Does usage of advanced language features decrease maintainability? [duplicate]

On a code review, I've stumbled on an interesting idea, which I can't properly judge alone. Is it OK to improve readability of code by means of not widely known language syntax? When the original ...
6
votes
2answers
414 views

Exposing domain models over API

I'm building a simple RESTful API for a web-based application I'm working on, and I'm wondering about the best way to go about exposing my domain models. Let's say I have a User class and I want to ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I test a file reader?

I am working on a project with a few file formats. Some formats are specified by .xsds, others by documentation on their respective websites, and some are custom in-house formats that have no ...
1
vote
2answers
149 views

Will a binary include methods that are not called in the source code?

[Potentially misleading title, but I'm not sure how best to word it.] Theoretical question on compilers and language design. Say I'm re-implementing a method in a code base. Instead of removing or ...
3
votes
3answers
442 views

Good Procedure or Function Design

This is in reference to the question posted here. As I would judge it, the question there should be closed simply because it seems to ask why the Borland developers made one thing a function and ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is an example of a continuation not implemented as a procedure?

An interesting discussion about the distinction between callbacks and continuations over on SO has prompted this question. By definition, a continuation is an abstract representation of the logic ...
4
votes
3answers
515 views

Where can I find an authoritative comparison of computer languages? [closed]

I've reached a point in my career where I want to consider myself less "an {x} engineer" where {x} is a specific programming language, and I want to be more of a language-agnostic software engineer. ...
2
votes
2answers
281 views

What are appropriate metaphors for the pieces of a word processor? [closed]

A word processor is a complicated creature of many layers and pieces, but it represents a relatively simple concept: a piece of paper with writing on it. This leads to the problem of having many ...
5
votes
4answers
599 views

How can I stop myself overwriting member variables with 'new' ones?

The bulk of my programming experience has been with C++ and (shudder) FORTRAN (I'm a scientist not a programmer as such, but I do my best). I've recently started using python extensively and find it ...
3
votes
3answers
502 views

What is the job of a language virtual machine, and creating one [closed]

Recently I have become incredibly interested in language development. The past few weeks I have written many language front ends (lexer, parser) including a calculator language/expression parser and ...
4
votes
2answers
710 views

Confusion with Factory pattern regarding Liskov's Substitution Principle, code maintainability and Unit Testing?

I have a confusion regarding Factory Pattern there are basically two ways You can implement that. Approach 1: public interface IProductFactory { IProduct GetProductA(); IProduct ...
2
votes
3answers
383 views

Why is float the default in the majority of languages?

In programming languages, for represent numbers you have (mainly) two types: Int(s) and floats. The us of Int is very easy. However floats cause a lot of unexpected surprises: ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

Strategy for normalising and interpreting location data

I'm a bit stuck with a problem involving the normalisation of location input data from the user (which comes from a third party). Aim To logically breakdown and interpret the user location input ...
1
vote
2answers
796 views

Why don't we have a non-turing complete general purpose language yet? [duplicate]

Non-turing complete languages can solve every practical problem that a turing-complete language can. Also, they are much more analyzable than turing complete languages. The compiler can comprehend the ...
2
votes
0answers
120 views

Are there non-turing complete dynamic languages which can be used to create useful programs? [duplicate]

While it takes a turing complete language to create any imaginable program, is it possible to compute most "useful" programs with a non-turing complete dynamically typed language? For example, is ...
8
votes
3answers
795 views

I have to compromise: DRY, or Command-Query-Separation?

I was recently refactoring a method that was both a command and a query method. After separating it into a one command method and one query method, I found that there are now multiple places in the ...
5
votes
3answers
391 views

Where to load and store settings from a file?

I think this question should apply to most programs that load settings from a file. My question is from a programming point of view, and it is really how to deal with the loading of settings from a ...
1
vote
2answers
251 views

is there a programming language designed to express data combinations? [closed]

Very often, when using the command line or just programming, you want to express some kind of combination that you end up using a for - which is often verbose. for (int i = 0; i<10; ++i) ...
1
vote
2answers
112 views

Creating documents from snippets [closed]

From time to time I create whole documents (e.g. XML or proprietary) programmatically. If it easy enough, I just write something like stringbuilder.append("<blah>"); ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Representing floating-point numbers in bytecode

How do interpreted languages typically go about representing floating-point numbers in their bytecode? For example, suppose I've got a Java program with the line double a = 3.0; What does 3.0 look ...
4
votes
3answers
352 views

Can we reduce confusion in line-based diff tools by annotating the code with some unique tokens?

Let's say I have procedure1() { --body of first procedure-- } Then I rename it into procedure2 and create a procedure1 above it: procedure1() { --body of second procedure-- } procedure2() ...
8
votes
5answers
209 views

Gathering all data in single iteration vs using functions for readable code

Say I have an array of runners with which I need to find the tallest runner, the fastest runner, and the lightest runner. It seems like the most readable solution would be: runners = getRunners(); ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Algorithm in undirected BFS graph

I'm trying to put together an algorithm that will display the node degree for every node in a breadth first tree graph (assume BFS was called). Assume it's an undirected graph. I'm not sure how to ...
3
votes
6answers
540 views

Should all classes have a default constructor as part of good coding convention

From the texts I have read so far, the conventions talk about organizing constructors, starting with the default, if any. I am wondering, should all classes have a default constructor anyway. This ...
-1
votes
3answers
206 views

Is there a core set of language agnostic problems? [closed]

I would like to design a programming language by solving a specific set of problems. I am looking for a core set of programming problems that are language agnostic. It seems that there are a number ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

If the model is validating the data, shouldn't it throw exceptions on bad input?

Reading this SO question it seems that throwing exceptions for validating user input is frowned upon. But who should validate this data? In my applications, all validations are done in the business ...
5
votes
3answers
370 views

Why is it rare to collect analytics/usage data in open source software?

So, I've been developing some analytic software at my work and also have started to take more notice to analytics in general. For instance, I recently installed Google Analytics on my blog(which is ...
3
votes
5answers
261 views

Testing From A Developer's Perspective [closed]

I have a book which mentions: "There are many types of testing, including unit testing, integration testing, functional testing, system testing, performance testing, and acceptance testing". It ...