According to Wikipedia, Language is the human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, and a language is any specific example of such a system. The scientific study of language is called linguistics.

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101
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6answers
17k views

Why is XML called a “language” exactly?

I've been wondering why XML has an L in its name. By itself, XML doesn't "do" anything. It's just a data storage format, not a language! Languages "do" things. The way you get XML to "do" stuff, to ...
40
votes
1answer
11k views

Java: “Heap pollution”

A "Heap Pollution" as in Non-Reifiable Types (The Java™ Tutorials > Learning the Java Language > Generics (Updated)) Why is it called that way?
32
votes
9answers
2k views

Why do old C-style method names continue being used in modern languages? [duplicate]

I understand that in the earlier days of computing, shorter method names like printf made sense, because storage was limited. But why do modern languages like Python and Go still use the less readable ...
32
votes
8answers
4k views

How can I write a set of functions that can be invoked from (almost) any programming language?

I'd like to find a way to write an API that can be accessed from any other programming language via language bindings (or some other framework). Is it possible to do this? If so, which programming ...
31
votes
13answers
3k views

Case insensitive keywords in a language [closed]

We're trying to write a custom scripting language. There has been a suggestion to make the language forgiving by providing case insensitive keywords. I personally do not like the idea, but there are ...
26
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a real advantage to dynamic languages? [closed]

First I want to say Java is the only language I ever used, so please excuse my ignorance on this subject. Dynamically typed languages allow you to put any value in any variable. So for example you ...
22
votes
6answers
7k views

Surviving MATLAB and R as a Hardcore Programmer [closed]

I love programming in languages that seem geared towards hardcore programmers. (My favorites are Python and D.) MATLAB is geared towards engineers and R is geared towards statisticians, and it seems ...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

Are there any programming languages that follow a minimalist development approach?

I find it that when languages are considered the same as commercial software, there is always a constant need to add new features to justify new releases. Can there be or are there languages where ...
22
votes
7answers
530 views
19
votes
8answers
3k views

What non-theoretical, practical programming language has no reserved keywords?

I have been searching for a practical programming language that has no reserved keywords but I haven't had any luck finding one. I am working on a programming language for my own edification and ...
18
votes
8answers
4k views

What constitutes a dead programming language? [closed]

Imagine you were elected coroner of IEEE or somesuch governing body and you had to pronounce a programming language as dead. What signs would you look for? Are there any zombie languages out there ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

Advantage of Learning Lisp for a Python Programmer [closed]

I am primarily a Python, Java, C++ programmer, and I've gained a recent interest in functional language. I'm thinking of picking up a LISP dialect: Clojure. Now, I've been working through tutorials ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Gradual Typing: “Almost every language with a static type system also has a dynamic type system”

This claim by Aleks Bromfield states: Almost every language with a static type system also has a dynamic type system. Aside from C, I can't think of an exception Is this a valid claim? I ...
14
votes
8answers
1k views

Why does C have no competitors in low level stuff? [duplicate]

As far as I know, C is by far the most widely used language for low level stuff such as systems programming and embedded. Sometimes assembly is used, but that's when you really need to be close to the ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Where does the word “Programming” come from? [closed]

Where does the word "Programming" come from? I'm referring to the word "program" as referring to "to instruct a computer". Programming, programmer etc...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

Are Java's public fields just a tragic historical design flaw at this point? [closed]

It seems to be Java orthodoxy at this point that one should basically never use public fields for object state. (I don't necessarily agree, but that's not relevant to my question.) Given that, would ...
10
votes
9answers
3k views

Why do variables need a type?

So we write: Customer c = new Customer(); Why is the design not such that we write: c = new Customer(); c.CreditLimit = 1000; The compiler can work out c points to a Customer and allow Customer'...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does C# have much more features than Java? [closed]

Please note that this isn't meant to be a Java vs. C# argument. I'm a Java programmer with no C# experience, asking just out of curiosity. I did some reading on C#, and it seems it has much more ...
9
votes
2answers
393 views

Why don't Python and Ruby make a distinction between declaring and assigning a value to variables?

Two of the most popular dynamically typed scripting languages, Python and Ruby, do not make a distinction in syntax between the declaration of a variable and assignation of a value to it. That is in ...
8
votes
1answer
774 views

What language is the CLR written in?

Just out of curiosity, what language is the CLR written in? I read on the Java Virtual Machine wikipedia entry that it is programmed in C++; is this the same for the CLR? Sorry if this is off-topic, ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Language parsing to find important words

I'm looking for some input and theory on how to approach a lexical topic. Let's say I have a collection of strings, which may just be one sentence or potentially multiple sentences. I'd like to ...
7
votes
7answers
4k views

C language portability

How exactly is portability of a language like C is determined? I've learned that compilers are ISA specific. If this is true, how is C portable? Or is it that just the source code written in C is ...
7
votes
8answers
656 views

Class as first-class object

Could a class be a first-class object? If yes, how would the syntax for dynamically creating new classes look like? To narrow the question - how would you give this functionality while keeping ...
7
votes
4answers
459 views

Is it worth it to translate an Android app into Spanish and other languages? [closed]

I have the "user's side" of the story, I think they want it better if it's on Spanish. But, what about the programmers? Do you make your programs multi-language? Why? Why not? Who translate your ...
7
votes
2answers
511 views

Is Free Pascal just an open source, multi-platform clone of Turbo Pascal & Delphi?

Does Free Pascal introduce any significant language features over Turbo Pascal & then Delphi, or does it just introduce the Turbo Pascal & Delphi flavors of Pascal to more platforms?
6
votes
12answers
2k views

Language Choice for Algorithm Competitions [duplicate]

Hi everyone I have just started taking part in online coding competitions.I would like to know which language would be better as regards efficiency and ease of debugging. I tend to avoid c++ and ...
6
votes
7answers
909 views

Learning high level languages [closed]

I've been actively programming with assembly but now I'm losing motivation. My productivity is simply ridiculously low compared to what others seem to have with high level languages. I know I should ...
6
votes
2answers
221 views

What is the minimum practical definition for the Scheme language?

What is the smallest practical set of primitives that can be used to define the Scheme language? For example, map can be defined as (define (map proc lis) (cond ((null? lis) '()) ...
6
votes
0answers
385 views

Object Constraint Language (OCL) for Stack in java.util package

I have an exam coming up and I'm looking at past papers to get some ideas of what to expect. I'm a bit stuck on the following one and would really appreciate if someone could give some example ...
5
votes
2answers
800 views

Why does the word “Pythonic” exist? [closed]

Honestly, I hate the word "Pythonic" -- it's used as a simple synonym of "good" in many circles, and I think that's pretentious. Those who use it are silently saying that good code cannot be written ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Whatever happened to Pascal? [duplicate]

In reading this blog post about Photoshop 1.0 I was surprised to learn that it was written in Pascal (Object Pascal to be exact). But you never hear about Pascal anymore. Why is that?
5
votes
4answers
8k views

Languages and frameworks to build REST services [closed]

I'm currently in the process of developing a REST service that will be consumed by an iPhone app. Basically, the service wraps existing business logic. This business logic is written in c# and I'm ...
5
votes
5answers
623 views

TRS-80 Color BASIC as an inspiration for a new programming language [closed]

For a time now I have been wanting to make my own programming language. I'm 17 and the only language I know is Color BASIC. I know that compared to today's complicated languages, it's pretty weak. ...
5
votes
6answers
320 views

Teaching programming to a non-CS graduate [closed]

I have a couple of friends interested in computer programming, but they're non-CS graduates; some of them have very little experience in software testing field (some of them took some basic software ...
5
votes
1answer
400 views

How advanced are author-recognition methods?

From a written text by an author if a computer program analyses the text, how much can a computer program tell today about the author of some (long enough to be statistically significant) texts? Can ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Programming Language Parser (in Java) - What would be a better design alternative for a special case?

Background I'm currently designing my own programming language as a research project. I have most of the grammar done and written down as context-free grammar, and it should be working as is. - Now I'...
5
votes
2answers
167 views

Are some languages or language features better for testing?

I am, and like being, a VB.net coder. I have a couple of largish programs in c# that I must maintain and I don't really like writing C# code while developing. It isn't horrible but I much prefer the ...
4
votes
2answers
786 views

Is sticking to one language on a particular project a good practice?

I'm developing a pipeline for processing text that will go into production. The question I keep asking myself is: should I stick to one language for the project when I'm looking for a tool to do a ...
4
votes
2answers
516 views

Code maintenance: Is it better to develop in English or my mother tongue? [duplicate]

Suppose I develop an application for a given company of my own country. Is is better to code in English or with the language of my country ? I mean, if it is better to comment in French and name the ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

distribution of programming languages in embedded systems

I am looking for statistics concerning the distribution of programming languages in the embedded sector. Do you know any good websites, articles or books? I found this as a first reference but am ...
4
votes
4answers
305 views

What Languages are mostly understood “intuitively” and could benefit from a more formal learning approach? [closed]

In a presentation, i stumbled upon the Statement "JavaScript is a Language everybody uses, yet nearly noone seems to find it neccessary to learn how it works". And indeed, not many of the programmers ...
4
votes
5answers
411 views

How to remember the details (Core APIs) of one computer language? [closed]

I found my self often paused to check a certain usage of one core API when writing either javascript or Ruby. I am wondering how the other guys doing? Is it necessary to remember every Core API usages?...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Lisp As A Langauge For A Beginner? [closed]

Should I learn Lisp as my first programming language? I have no prior experience but have heard great things about it from programming friends.
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Where do other programming languages fit in Windows 8 development model?

Today, Windows applications can be developed in numerous languages and frameworks. But in the upcoming Windows 8, with the introduction of WinRT, the development model is going change at a large scale....
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Is there still any value in learning assembly languages today? [closed]

Specifically for a game programmer. If you really needed some assembly routines you could look for help, whereas back in the 80s/90s it was one of the mainstream languages. I read that compilers can ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to speak to a computer [closed]

I am a self-taught, novice programmer. The language I chose was Objective-C, so that I can write Apple applications and software. I have learned the hard way that Objective-C has a steep learning ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

What is meant by 4 GL?

I came across the term 4GL(generation language) in reading about Oracle ADF Busniess components . I want to know what exactly is 4GL ? This is the actual quote from the book Oracle Fusion Guide: ...
3
votes
2answers
186 views

what exactly is hypertext?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypertext: Hypertext is text displayed on a computer or other electronic device with references (hyperlinks) to other text that the reader can immediately access, ...
3
votes
4answers
191 views

Is it possible to build all features of functional language with only closure?

I'm trying to make a new functional language and it's interpreter for practice. As I know most basic building block is only a lambda function, and it's just a closure. I'm not understanding them well, ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Can Powershell do anything that Iron Ruby can't?

I am torn between learning myself some Powershell or just leveraging my existing Ruby knowledge for the various Windows scripting things that I do from time to time. Powershell does look incredibly ...