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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46
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
19
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?
5
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
32
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
41
votes
40answers
5k views

Is anything in programming truly evil? [closed]

So, there are a bunch of questions appearing asking is X evil, is Y evil. My view is that there are no language constructs, algorithms or whatever which are evil, just ones which are badly used. ...
88
votes
64answers
14k views

What features would you like to have in PHP? [closed]

Since it's the holiday season now and everybody's making wishes, I wonder - which language features you would wish PHP would have added? I am interested in some practical suggestions/wishes for the ...
10
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
998 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 ...
22
votes
16answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

Are optional parameters helpful or a hindrance to application maintenance? [closed]

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 ...
7
votes
7answers
656 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
554 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
318 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...