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

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4
votes
1answer
336 views

Sorting a large number of unknown items with multiple stacks

Here is a problem I'm trying to solve for a personal project. I'm not exactly sure how best to even approach it. Problem: I have a single stack already populated with several thousands of unknown ...
0
votes
5answers
934 views

Fastest way to determine if a value is in a list?

I'm aware there may not be a good solution to this problem. I'm looking for a fast algorithm that determines whether or not a value (let's say an integer) exists in a set of values, however I need the ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

What data type is this?

I have a list of items I am adding to, however this special list will delete anything past a given capacity. Note the order is maintained. For the life of me, I can't think of the name of such a ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

Handling source code table alignment

Sometimes there is need to have tables (big or small) in source code. ItemType const SomeTable[] = { // id name min max ITEM( 3, "Foo", 70, 180), ITEM(13, "Bar", 30, 50), ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Ambiguity of seemingly clear method names in APIs

(The question is language-agnostic, but to illustrate the point, I wrote the examples in C#.) Say I'm trying to model the behavior of "components" that communicate via "ports". I might model this ...
0
votes
2answers
278 views

Why does Java (and other langs too) have seemingly redundant functions like “str.startsWith(String str, int fromOffset)”?

I was wondering why Java and other programming languages implement (seemingly) redundant functions such as: "foobar".startsWith("bar", 3); // same as "foobar".substring(3).startsWith("bar"); // or ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

User sessions in a web server; speed or persistence?

I'm looking to implement sessions for a web server that I'm developing in my free time. Currently, it had cookie support, so users could implement their own session management, but this is something ...
1
vote
1answer
342 views

How would a compiler turn an else-if cascade into a switch?

I don't like switch in C and its descendants. Maybe it's the need for a break or the clumsiness of the syntax requiring a shifting of mental gears, I don't know. Whatever the reason, I will almost ...
3
votes
3answers
331 views

Approach to designing a workflow web app that contains some automation

I have been tasked with creating a web application which will provide end-users with a self help workflow, asking them questions and skipping to another part of the workflow depending upon the ...
117
votes
9answers
15k views

When is it a good idea to force garbage collection?

So I was reading a question about forcing the C# garbage collector to run where almost every single answer is the same: you can do it, but you shouldn't - except for some very rare cases. Sadly, ...
0
votes
2answers
163 views

Is there accepted decimal-based Unicode notation for technical audiences?

When writing for technical audiences, there are various ways to type Unicode representations, but they all seem to be Hexadecimal: \uFFFF - From C# / Java Strings \U0000FFFF - From C# / Java Strings ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

If Else - Repeated Code Logic

My boss gave me a project with a particular logic. I have to develop a web page which has to lead the navigator through many cases until he/she arrives at the product. This is the path scheme of the ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

Is it poor decision making that using promises for GUI inputs?

So as you know the context: DOM with JavaScript, even though I think it is mostly a language agnostic issue (I know I put both language-agnostic and JavaScript tags, but it's only to let you see ...
4
votes
1answer
420 views

Why the practice of writing unit tests in a different language isn't that popular?

When Microsoft released Visual Studio 2008, there was a thing they were talking a lot about at the conferences and in their online tutorials: the idea of writing the actual code in one language, and ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

why are the evaluation strategies call-by-value etc. only discussed in the context of function calling?

I am referring to various discussions on the differences and nuances in the semantics of pass-by-value, pass-by-reference, e.g. in SO or in the Wikipedia article on the subject. My question is why do ...
3
votes
3answers
719 views

Why is the “period of a (pseudo)random number generator” important?

I've been trying to understand (pseudo)random number generator code from various sources and the concept of the period continues to elude me. To satisfy the minimum level of understanding, I've tried ...
1
vote
0answers
81 views

Designing an Action abstract class with GUI

I have an Action class, where an Action can do a range of things, including: Performing a sequential list of other actions Performing an action if a condition is true Allowing the user to pick ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Should log/data files be stored in the database? [duplicate]

I'm working on a project where we produce lots of data in the form of simple .txt files. These usually contain a set of columns that will later be loaded in to Matlab to be analysed. I've implemented ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

Mathematically correct A* heuristic / distance estimator for a latitude / longitude graph

I have a graph in which each node is a geographical point on the surface of the earth, defined by it's latitude / longitude coordinates. Correct ways to calculate the distance between two such points ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there a pattern for a more “natural” way of adding items to collections? [closed]

I think the most common way of adding something to a collection is to use some kind of Add method that a collection provides: class Item {} var items = new List<Item>(); items.Add(new ...
1
vote
1answer
196 views

Changing an object's (apparent) class at runtime

I'm looking for a design pattern to solve the following problem: An object (let's say representing a document) can change its type dynamically during its lifetime (e.g. when it is saved with a ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Introduce Data Transfer Objects or expose complex data model in REST

We are working on an MVVM application. Jersey (backend) exposing a REST interface and AngularJS (frontend) being the only consumer of this interface. The application uses a complex database model ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Why do UTC Dates have different days of the week for some months?

I've been using the Javascript Date API for a calendar application, and I noticed that for every month between 3 and 9 (April and November) the methods Date.getDay() and Date.getUTCDay() return ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

Pre-Compilation Processor:

What I want to do: Parse source code, search for a beginning and closing tag of my own definition (one that does not conflict with any defined patterns in the programming language), and then replace ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there other ways to limit recursion depth for a function?

I am trying to prevent a function/method (in Java) from performing recursion more than a depth of 3 self calls. I've learnt about the accumulator trick from odersky's scala coursera course. public ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Method for all objects for checking conditions which also includes method chaining and avoiding variables

(I am currently using groovy but it should apply to most OO languages so I also put the langauge-agnostic tag) I try to program in a function style which also includes method chaining and avoiding ...
1
vote
2answers
159 views

Deriving from a class only to provide a special constructor

In our codebase, I encountered the following construct: There is a base class B, and then there is a class D which derives from B, but does not override or add any members. In fact, D is completely ...
0
votes
2answers
123 views

Handling repetitive unit testing tasks [duplicate]

This problem arose whilst writing a simple 3D vector class. The class contained methods (Java, so no operator overloading) for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These methods ...
20
votes
8answers
4k views

What is the benefit of a function without parameters which only calls another function

A tutorial (for Javascript) I'm doing suggests we write a function like this one: function sayHello() { //Some comments explaining the next line window.alert("Hello"); } Other than ...
5
votes
2answers
444 views

Is there any language-agnostic specification for “String Natural Sorting Order”

As I painfully try to find a good natural sorting algorithm written in JavaScript I then stumble upon a bunch of different implementations, & interesting blog posts & answers on Stack ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

How to predict a future simulation state

We have a program that combines the simulation of an aircraft system and predefined pedagogical scenarios for trainee pilots to learn how to use this system. When we follow the normal scenario, ...
9
votes
4answers
577 views

Is it ever OK for a conditional to have side effects? [closed]

I'm taking intermediate data structures course as a prereq for entry into the CS MS program at a University everyone in America has heard of. One line of code that was written in class caught my eye: ...
2
votes
4answers
593 views

Why aren't we building and using parallel processors *meant* for general computation?

We all know GPUs are much faster than CPUs for a wide range of applications. When someone asks why we are not just programming for GPUs at all, one of the most common answers is that GPUs are not good ...
3
votes
2answers
213 views

Should I throw guard exceptions that will be thrown by internal methods anyway? [duplicate]

I have some fairly simple code (C#): /// <summary> /// Truncates a string to a maximum length. /// </summary> /// <param name="value"> The string to truncate. ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

class hierarchy with structurally different subclasses

I want to implement a protocol layer which sits on top of the TCP/IP stack. There is a limited set of PDUs that can be sent and for each PDU there is a class which represents it in a structured form. ...
0
votes
1answer
232 views

Avoid Code Repetition in Condition Statements [duplicate]

I have been programming for over 15 years now. I consider myself a very good programmer, but I understand (like all of us) there are things that I need to work on. One of these things is code ...
2
votes
5answers
293 views

Do first-class methods exist?

Okay, I know first-class functions are cool, closures even better, etc. But is there any language with first-class methods? In my mind, I see a first-class method as an "object" that has both a ...
17
votes
1answer
827 views

Where did the notion of 'calling' a function come from?

I've always wondered why one calls a function as opposed to, for example, executing it. A Google search for function call etymology and similar terms turns up nothing useful, Wikipedia doesn't ...
1
vote
2answers
226 views

How do you guard against hidden overflows

consider the following: (i+j)/2 i and j are both 32 bit integers and the result should also be. But in the little equation, there's a hidden overflow, i+j could become larger then a 32 bit integer ...
-3
votes
3answers
189 views

What is the verb for “to make something into a plugin”? [closed]

What is the verb for "to make something into a plugin"? Example use: "Developer can you make Module Foo into a plugin?". "Yes sir, I can some verb Module Foo". Terms I have considered: pluginify, ...
2
votes
2answers
301 views

Does it make sense to use interfaces if you don't have polymorphism?

Suppose I have distinct classes that have the same behavior, which can be represented like this: public interface Behavior { void operationA(); } public class ImplementerA implements Behavior { ...
0
votes
2answers
646 views

Traverse a matrix using a linear index to get an evenly distributed values sample

I'm looking for an algorithm idea on how to traverse a matrix using a linear index while avoiding row/column based traversals to get a more diverse distribution of values. To understand this better, ...
5
votes
3answers
744 views

Functional programming strategies in imperative languages

I've been convinced for awhile now that some strategies in functional programming are better suited to a number of computations (i.e immutability of data structures). However, due to the popularity of ...
3
votes
1answer
381 views

How can I rewrite this linked-list manipulation as tail-recursive?

Given a liked list, I'd like to swap every pair of nodes as follows: input: a-b-c-d-e-f-g output: b-a-d-c-f-e-g If there's an odd number of nodes then the last node is tacked on as-is. This should ...
38
votes
11answers
2k views

When should the programmer's spoken language be used during development? [duplicate]

I'm an Italian developer, but I have a good understanding of English. Sometimes, when developing an application targeted for an Italian audience, I wonder whether it is correct to use the Italian ...
8
votes
1answer
678 views

What's the copyright status of boilerplate code?

I check Open Source Compliance for commercial code. I have recently found a few examples where the commercial source is matched against quite a few OSS projects. The matches are very similar, but ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Dealing with not knowing parameter names of a function when you're calling it

Here's a programming/language problem I'd like to hear your thoughts on. We have developed conventions that most programmers (should) follow that aren't a part of the languages syntax but serve to ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

How to manage version control company wide? [duplicate]

Are there any industry standards or best practises on how to manage a rapidly changing code base? The types of applications I am developing always have a custom aspect to them. So there will always ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Can the possibility of a data race be ignored in some cases? (while having concurrent threads) [duplicate]

I am programming a game engine as a hobby project, and I would like to separate physics and drawing into two separate threads. The position vectors of entities are subject to modifications by the ...
1
vote
2answers
763 views

Logging events for reporting purposes

Are there any design patterns or best practices around logging events for use in reporting and BI systems. For example in a system which manages orders from a website, it would be beneficial if a ...