Questions about distinctive aspects of particular computer languages, particularly in the way they are written or in the expressive capabilities provided to the programmer.

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23
votes
6answers
18k views

Why the static data members have to be defined outside the class separately in C++ (unlike Java)?

class A { static int foo () {} // ok static int x; // <--- needed to be defined separately in .cpp file }; I don't see a need of having A::x defined separately in a .cpp file (or same file ...
10
votes
7answers
431 views

What is a good alternative to the name variable for a language that only has immutable references or labels?

For example, in functional languages, variables are single assignment and their values are immutable once assigned. So they have two states unbound and bound, once bound they can't be changed. Is ...
11
votes
11answers
1k views

What do you do when you can't seem to understand a certain part of programming? [closed]

I'm learning new languages as I go along, I write code for very basic programs in multiple languages, and I go to classes. I've read books, articles, lessons, videos, you name it, however I can't seem ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a specific purpose for heterogeneous lists?

Coming from a C# and Java background, I'm used to my lists being homogeneous, and that makes sense to me. When I started picking up Lisp, I noticed that the lists can be heterogeneous. When I started ...
5
votes
2answers
322 views

C++ users proposals

I believe I have some good suggestions to improve the C++ language. Who should I contact to discuss this? Do I have the chance to be heard, especially if I'm not a renowned expert?
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there any languages that have both high- and low-level facilities? [closed]

Are there any languages that have both high- and low-level facilities? If not, is it feasible to create one? Why or why not? In theory, it would be very helpful to have a programming language that ...
17
votes
11answers
12k views

Why is Python recommended as an entry level programming language?

I've read here on P.SE more questions in which beginner programmers are advised to pick Python as their first programming language. Don't get me wrong, I like Python. I like it a lot! But its ...
2
votes
7answers
246 views

What's a good way to prepare for this course titled “Programming Language Security”?

I have a course with the following description: The purpose of this course is the study of programming language security features and languages designed to support it explicitly. Static and ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What common programming problems are best solved by using prototypes and closures?

As much as I understand both concepts, I can't see how can I take advantage of JavaScript's closures and prototypes aside from using them for creating instantiable and/or encapsulated class-like ...
4
votes
3answers
617 views

Does Java have automatic memory management?

I have started learning about C# and I come to what is called 'Automatic memory management' or 'Garbage collectors' and I'm wondering if Java contains something like this as well? and if it does, does ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Is Java instanceof operator considered reflection, and what defines reflection?

I had a discussion with a coworker today, whether usage of using the Java operator instanceof is a kind of reflection. And the discussion quickly evolved into what actually defines reflection. So, ...
2
votes
3answers
268 views

Can applications override the OS keyboard layout?

We have in-house .NET application, which can be used across multiple languages. Lately we received a strange bug that is when our application is being used, user was unable to enter accent characters ...
7
votes
5answers
579 views

Java without implementation inheritance

In a recent video on Java, Joshua Bloch states at 4 minutes 20 seconds into the video: And then there's inheritance, and that was a marketing necessity. You know, we can argue whether you really ...
6
votes
3answers
474 views

Is there really a choice of the best language for a specific project?

Programmers.SE has plenty of questions of beginner programmers asking if they must use a specific language or another one in their daily work, or if they must learn a language or another. Those ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Problem understanding what “Exporting functions means”

I cannot understand what the following means "ISAPI applications can be written using any language which allows the export of standard C functions, for instance C, C++, Delphi." What is "allowing ...
11
votes
2answers
526 views

How easy should a language development framework be to use?

This is part of a series of questions which focuses on a project called the Abstraction Project, which aims to abstract the concepts used in language design in the form of a framework. Another ...
6
votes
3answers
642 views

Is structural typing in a hierarchical model necessary?

This is part of a series of questions which focuses on a project called the Abstraction Project, which aims to abstract the concepts used in language design in the form of a framework. Another ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Unusual languages for numerical analysis [closed]

This question is inspired by these questions (here and here). I do mostly numerical work, and I usually use C++, Fortran, and occasionally Numpy. I'm trying to broaden my horizons, and I'm looking ...
3
votes
1answer
218 views

Will the portions of Boost that are incorporated into the new C++ standard continue to be developed?

What will happen to the portions of the Boost library that are incorporated into the new C++ standard? Will they continue to evolve and any changes be reincorporated into the standard which follows ...
0
votes
4answers
674 views

About languages strongly typed with late binding, do they make sense?

I never learnt anything about VB6 (and I dont want to) but I wanted to search for bad things in computer software, so my first though was VB6. So for example, VB6 was strongly typed with late ...
1
vote
9answers
923 views

The New Programming Language & BCL for the Cloud [closed]

Let's say you need to implement a new programming language and BCL designed specifically for operating in the cloud (it won't be used on client machines ever). It should be optimized for cloud ...
14
votes
10answers
1k views

Why dynamically typed languages do not let the developer specify the type?

The dynamically typed languages I know never let the developers specify the types of variables, or at least have a very limited support for that. JavaScript, for example, doesn't provide any ...
6
votes
1answer
8k views

A combined if/switch statement syntax with exception handling for a C#-inspired language

It is sometimes necessary to try/catch exceptions inside the "if" condition, but not the body that follows. In C#, this is really rather cumbersome, requiring locals and code that isn't entirely ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Programming languages differences and efficiency, does it matter?

I am fairly new to programming, I have studied in computer science for 3 years at college, but as you know, school is only 2% of what really makes one a fully-fledged programmer. I have a lot of ...
11
votes
6answers
605 views

Why binding is not a native feature in most of the languages?

IMHO binding a variable to another variable or an expression is a very common scenario in mathematics. In fact, in the beginning, many students think the assignment operator(=) is some kind of ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

How do you choose to use a specific programming language? [closed]

I was having a small talk between teammates about how you choose a programming language for use in a project which lead me to think that there are many criteria to choose one in the beginning of a ...
10
votes
6answers
688 views

Where, in an object oriented system should you, if at all, choose (C-style) structs over classes?

C and most likely many other languages provide a struct keyword for creating structures (or something in a similar fashion). These are (at least in C), from a simplified point of view like classes, ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

First Class Functions

I started seriously taking a look at Lisp this weekend (by which I mean I have only been learning Lisp and not reverting back to projects in C#) and must say I love it. I have dabbled with other ...
6
votes
5answers
391 views

Is there a better term than “smoothness” or “granularity” to describe this language feature? [closed]

One of the best things about programming is the abundance of different languages. There are general purpose languages like C++ and Java, as well as little languages like XSLT and AWK. When ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there any reason lazy initialization couldn't be built into Java?

Since I'm working on a server with absolutely no non-persisted state for users, every User-related object we have is rolled out on every request. Consequently I often find myself doing lazy ...
35
votes
5answers
4k views

Java dev learning Python: what concepts do I need to wrap my head around?

Background: I've run through a few tutorials and written some small projects. All is going well enough using Google and StackOverflow. Several times in the last few days I've found myself wondering ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

what are the benefits of closure, primarily for PHP?

I am beginning the process of moving code over to PHP 5.3 and one of the most highly touted features of PHP 5.3 is the ability to use closures. My understanding of closures is that they allow ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Why no fortran standard library?

To be a language focused on mathematics and scientific computing, I am always baffled by the total lack of useful mathematical routines in the Fortran standard library. One would expect it to be ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

feature request in language design?

How do language designers decide when a feature should go in a library as an extension or when it needs to have support from the core language?
81
votes
9answers
30k views

What is a closure?

Every now and then I see "closures" being mentioned, and I tried looking it up but Wiki doesn't give an explanation that I understand. Could someone help me out here?
40
votes
5answers
4k views

When is a feature considered a “First class citizen” in a programming language/platform?

I have seen many times statements like- "Please make this feature a first class citizen in so and so language/platform". For example, it is said about enums in C#/.net. So, when is a feature ...
18
votes
24answers
2k views

Interesting or unique types in programming languages? [closed]

We have all seen integer, floating point, string, and the occasional decimal type. What are some of the most strange or unique or useful types you have encountered, useful or not?
4
votes
6answers
2k views

C++: calling non-member functions with the same syntax of member ones

One thing I'd like to do in C++ is to call non-member functions with the same syntax you call member functions: class A { }; void f( A & this ) { /* ... */ } // ... A a; a.f(); // this is the ...
29
votes
7answers
3k views

Is Haskell's type system an obstacle to understanding functional programming? [closed]

I'm studying Haskell for the purpose of understanding functional programming, with the expectation that I'll apply the insight that I gain in other languages (Groovy, Python, JavaScript mainly.) I ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are private variables described in the publicly accessible header file?

OK, so hopefully this is a subjective enough question for Programmers, but here goes. I am continuously broadening my knowledge of languages and software engineering practices... and I've run into ...
14
votes
10answers
969 views

Help me catch up on what I've missed since Java 1.4.2 [closed]

I am about to start my first professional career position as a software developer, and I'm likely going to be writing a lot of Java code. I don't know that much about what specifically I'll be ...
21
votes
16answers
2k views

Why aren't databases integrated as a language feature?

Are there any programming languages that have a built-in database as a first-class language feature rather than connecting to an external SQL (or other) database? What would be the drawbacks and ...
15
votes
9answers
1k views

Are optional parameters helpful or a hindrance to application maintenance?

As stated in the title, are optional parameters, such as those used in C# helpful or are they a hindrance to application maintenance and should be avoided as they can make the code harder to ...
6
votes
7answers
629 views

Are Language Comparisons Meaningful? [closed]

Dr Bjarne Stroustrup in his book D&E says Several reviewers asked me to compare C++ to other languages. This I have decided against doing. Thereby, I have reaffirmed a long-standing and ...
6
votes
2answers
534 views

Why would anyone need this java syntax?

One day while trawling through the Java language documentation, as you do, I found this little beauty lurking within Double: 0.25 == 0x1.0p-2 Now, obviously (!) this means take the number ...
2
votes
4answers
308 views

How does language [X] handle indeterminate forms like 0^0?

As x goes to 0, the limits of x^0 and 0^x go to 1 and 0, respectively. Some say that the best value for 0^0 depends on context, others say that the value of 0^0 should be 1. I'm interested in knowing ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Which programming languages doesn't use operator precedence besides Lisp like languages? [closed]

And what do you think about operator precedences? Would be harder programming in language where the operations are executed in sequential order? Ex.: 2 + 3 * 4 == 20 2 + (3 * 4) == 24 Ok, Lisp ...