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

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8
votes
5answers
214 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
236 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
454 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
354 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
7k views

How to write a HTTP server?

As the title says, I would like to write a HTTP server. My question is this, how do I do this? I know this sounds VERY general and too "high level", but there is a method to my madness. An answer to ...
56
votes
7answers
53k views

What is early and late binding?

I keep hearing about early and late binding, but I do not understand what they are. I found the following explanation which I do not understand: Early binding refers to assignment of values to ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Making Simple IF Statements Shorter

If we assume we have this little snippet of code: string str = "checked"; bool test1; if (str == "checked") { test1 = true; } else { test1 = false; } Is it bad practice to change a simple ...
12
votes
5answers
914 views

Strengthening code with possibly useless exception handling

Is it a good practice to implement useless exception handling, just in case another part of the code is not coded correctly? Basic example A simple one, so I don't loose everybody :). Let's say I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
245 views

What are the pros and cons of temporary variables vs multiple returns [duplicate]

Take the following examples: public static String returnOnce() { String resultString = null; if (someCondition) { resultString = "condition is true"; } else { resultString ...
2
votes
5answers
432 views

Other than XML, what are some examples of “coding” a GUI design?

I've been trying to think outside of the box as to how desktop GUIs can be designed in code(not a graphical designer!). I've come across basically three ways this is done: XML Raw code (create a ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

Prevent anomalies caused by signal propagation time

In electrical engineering class we learned that signal lines are not ideal, so it takes time for the signal to reach the other end of the cable, and if we doesn't take this into account, it can lead ...
1
vote
2answers
475 views

Fundamental TDD: stuck with writing a test so I can write code that I want

I have a Season class. This Season has a few properties: among them, a list of Games. This should be populated from the same source that populated the rest of the Season properties. I have a test ...
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Where does UI fit in a Multi Agent system

tl;dr How would I represent GUI as agents in a multi agent system. I am learning more about Multi Agent Systems. I like the concepts of such systems, it makes a lot of sense and it sounds very ...
2
votes
3answers
295 views

Dependency injection and ease of use

I'm writing a handy library (we'll call it Thinger) that goes off and fetches an XML document, does some X-Path query on it and does something helpful with the result of that. (What I'm actually doing ...
2
votes
5answers
267 views

Best practice to sort then reverse, or write “backwards” comparator?

I wrote a comparator for a custom class of mine and when I ran my code I realised the output of my list of these objects was in the reverse order as to what I wanted. It was "ascending" as opposed to "...
0
votes
3answers
362 views

How do I tell a user that bps means bits per second or bytes per second?

I'm writing an application that deals with the network and the hard drive. For the network portion, the application measures in bits per second, while the disk portion measures in bytes per second. ...
1
vote
2answers
481 views

Can we create a program that writes out its source code?

Can we create a program that print out its source code what if we (or the program itself) compile than the new program would have the same exact functionality what the original program has? So somehow ...
0
votes
1answer
142 views

Exception handling class: static or object-oriented?

I am working in a windows service (using VB.Net) for internal use of my department. When ever a certain type of exception (FooException for now on) is captured, I follow the same logic: Log the ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I say that programming language compiles to other languages?

How can I say in english, that programming language can be compiled to other programming languages? The example can be Haxe. On the website the language is decribed as "Multiplatform": ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How to determine most challenging test-cases to test any algorithm?

While solving any problem, we write algorithms. Some efficient, some not, some work, some fail. But sometimes we end up writing something which is mostly a success when we do a dry test run, perhaps, ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How to find local maxima in matrices?

I need to develop an algorithm for finding all the local maxima in a two-dimensional array: how to search for local maxima in the the most efficient way? Are there algorithms about it? Moreover, the ...
3
votes
2answers
268 views

How can you provide a public writeable API and not get spammed?

So say you had a site like StackExchange. Now imagine you created a machine-writeable API capable of posting questions and comments and doing everything your browser can do. Of course, about 5 ...
1
vote
3answers
262 views

Should methods always be closed for modification?

Say I have a method called 'functionA' that is called by a service and carries out a single piece of functionality, it is easy to unit test as it is does one thing only. If a few months later an new ...
7
votes
2answers
487 views

When is it inappropriate to make objects immutable?

I have a class which represents an entity object in our system (for sake of argument, a Customer object) public class Customer() { private int id; private String name; ... // 30+ fields ...
2
votes
8answers
2k views

Benefits of combining programming languages [closed]

I know there are different ways to combine programming languages (Haskell's FFI, Boost with C++ and Python, etc...). I have an odd interest in combining programming languages; however, I have only ...
1
vote
1answer
491 views

Should I use a formal grammar for my interpreted scripting language

I have a scripting engine I just published as an open source project. It's been sitting on my harddrive waiting for about a year. My engine of course isn't complete in any way, but it does work for ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Writing an API that is syntactically valid in multiple programming languages

I'm planning to write a single API that is syntactically valid in most major programming languages (to the greatest extent possible, so that only minimal amounts of code will need to be re-written ...
2
votes
2answers
406 views

I need some help with defining a shell syntax

I'm trying to understand more about shells. I'm looking to implement one and want to look at what's been done in the past. In a regular shell, you have features like aliases and relative paths, and ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

Why is (position < size) such a prevalent pattern in conditionals?

In a condition statement (IF) everyone uses (position < size), but why? Only convention or there is a good reason for that? Found in the wild: if (pos < array.length) { // do some with ...
2
votes
2answers
236 views

Are there any practical uses of allowing recursive inclusion of a file?

I am currently implementing NASM-like preprocessor for my assembler, and I am wondering what is the correct way of handling recursively included files. From what I see, there are two ways to deal with ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Is garbage collection needed for implementing safe closures?

I recently attended an online course on programming languages in which, among other concepts, closures were presented. I write down two examples inspired by this course to give some context before ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

Randomness of wrapped RNG

There are plenty of questions around regarding random number generation, but I couldn't find anything that exactly matched my question. Apologies if I missed one. Most random number generators in ...
3
votes
1answer
292 views

Addition vs multiplication on algorithm performance

I am studying about optimizing alogrithms.(Prof. Skiena's Algorithm Guide book) One of the exercises asks us to optimize an algorithm: Suppose the following algorithm is used to evaluate the ...
1
vote
3answers
244 views

About classes and their valid states

I get stuck each time I need to write a constructor for any class I design. The reason is that I am not sure what should go into a constructor and what should not. On googling for this, I got the ...
29
votes
8answers
11k views

Is the average number of bugs per loc the same for different programming languages? [closed]

I have been told that the average number of bugs/defects per line of code is "constant" for different programming languages. 10 KLOC of Ruby would have the same number of bugs as 10 KLOC of c++. The ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Are “conditional” caching policies ever actually useful?

I'm designing an abstraction over ASP.Net's built in caching to make it not so horrible to use. One design decision I'm having to look at is if I should restrict people to using just one cache policy ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Need some input on storing stdin, stdout, stderr information for debugging

I am working with a legacy system that is not too bad, but I thought of making some improvements to it, and I wanted to solicit your feedback to help me make good decisions. The platform is Linix (...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the pros and cons of Inter process communication done via sockets vs shared memory?

I understand that two of the many more options for inter process communication can be : Shared memory Sockets Actually I saw these two options being exposed by Intellij Idea for debugging a Java ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

How to share common methods if objects have different roles?

If 2 classes have the following in common: part of how their state is represented (both have a linear container) multiple identical methods (identical code, not just signature) But are not ...
7
votes
1answer
533 views

Loop fusion example using aspect-oriented framework

I had recently read a paper 'Aspect-Oriented Programming' by Gregor Kiczales and others, and found there the loop fusion example. Here is a definition of the loop fusion from the paper …the loop ...
7
votes
2answers
679 views

Best Practice to Avoid “Playing Telephone” with Constructor Arguments

I find that the encapsulation required by OO has me frequently passing paramenters down the line from parent to child to great grandchild to second grand nephew once removed (not actually that bad). ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Evaluate math expressions without a stack

How do you evaluate arbitrary math expressions using temporary variables instead of a stack? What I'm talking about is translating an expression into an array of simple operations- each that change ...
26
votes
11answers
2k views

Maintenance wise, is `else while` without intervening braces considered safe?

Is else while without intervening braces considered "safe" maintenance wise? Writing if-else code without braces like below... if (blah) foo(); else bar(); ...carries a risk because the ...
5
votes
4answers
469 views

What is thread safety? [closed]

What is it? I was reading Effective STL and came across it. I have also Googled it, but couldn't get any helpful info.
1
vote
3answers
1k views

When should one use “out” parameters?

In Objective-C, there are several methods like initWithContentsOfFile:encoding:error: where one passes in a reference to an NSError object for the error: parameter. In this example, the value of the ...
0
votes
1answer
792 views

Client-Server connection response timeout issues

User creates a folder in client and in the client-side code I hit an API to the server to make this persistent for that user. But in some cases, my server is so busy that the request timesout. The ...
4
votes
4answers
339 views

Is code that terminates on a random condition guaranteed to terminate?

If I had a code which terminated based on if a random number generator returned a result (as follows), would it be 100% certain that the code would terminate if it was allowed to run forever. while (...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Looking for a real-world example illustrating that composition can be superior to inheritance [closed]

I watched a bunch of lectures on Clojure and functional programming by Rich Hickey as well as some of the SICP lectures, and I am sold on many concepts of functional programming. I incorporated some ...