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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
votes
4answers
858 views

Is the usage of internal scope blocks within a function bad style?

There are some (quite rare) cases where there is a risk of: reusing a variable which is not intended to be reused (see example 1), or using a variable instead of another, semantically close (see ...
33
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it actually possible to have a 'useful' programming language that isn't Turing complete?

Where it is accepted that a language has to be Turing complete to be any good, is it actually possible to have a 'useful' programming language that isn't Turing complete? I should clarify that this ...
125
votes
9answers
46k 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?
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": ...
11
votes
2answers
540 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
778 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
849 views

Multiple attribution in Python, JS, …?

I accidentally discovered this a=b=c=d=e=f=2 in python(2.7)(and JavaScript a few minutes later) interpreter . Is this a feature or just the way the interpreter works, if is a feature how it is ...
35
votes
2answers
12k views

What are 4th & 5th programming language generations? Are there more of them? [closed]

As it is often classified at school/college level, popular programming languages (C#, Java, C++) are all 3rd generation languages (with higher level of abstraction from the machine's physical parts). ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Writing a Compiler Compiler - Insight on Use and Features

This is part of a series of questions which focuses on the sister project to the Abstraction Project, which aims to abstract the concepts used in language design in the form of a framework. The ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

When to import names into the global namespace? (using x::y, from x import y etc.)

I've been programming in various languages for about 10 years now. And I still haven't figured out when it is a good idea to import something into the global namespace (using x::y in C++, from x ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Why not expose activation records as data types? [closed]

Scoped languages tend to store the local variables of a given scope or function together in a data structure known as an activation record. Stack frames are examples of instances of activation records....
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Are non Turing-complete languages considered programming languages at all? [closed]

Reading a recent question: Is it actually possible to have a 'useful' programming language that isn't Turing complete?, I've come to wonder whether non Turing-complete programming languages are ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
734 views

Why do you need “self.” in Python to refer to instance variables?

I have been programming into a number of languages like Java, Ruby, Haskell and Python. I have to switch between many languages per day due to different projects I work on. Now, the issue is I often ...
7
votes
5answers
661 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
443 views

Is there a name for the 'break n' construct?

In a conversation earlier this week I was discussing certain language features, and I realized I don't have a good word / phrase to describe a particular feature. Some languages, such as PHP, have a ...
1
vote
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 ...