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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30
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
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": ...
6
votes
3answers
634 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
523 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 ...
77
votes
9answers
28k 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?
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 ...
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 ...
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?
6
votes
3answers
518 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
633 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
356 views

Languages supporting unicode logic operators

Are there any programming languages that support the use of unicode logic operators? For example, many programming languages use "!=" as the "does not equal" operator, but in mathematics the symbol ...
34
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
530 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
571 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
1answer
898 views

Are non Turing-complete languages considered programming languages at all?

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
418 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 ...
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 ...