Questions concerning low-level aspects of a system: programming close to the underlying details and hardware.

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38
votes
11answers
3k views

Why are cryptic short identifiers still so common in low-level programming?

There used to be very good reasons for keeping instruction / register names short. Those reasons no longer apply, but short cryptic names are still very common in low-level programming. Why is this? ...
30
votes
11answers
7k views

Were the first assemblers written in machine code?

I am reading the book The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles, which contains projects encompassing the build of a computer from boolean gates all the way ...
36
votes
9answers
4k views

Why not have a High Level Language based OS? Are Low Level Languages more efficient?

Without being presumptuous, I would like you to consider the possibility of this. Most OS today are based on pretty low level languages (mainly C/C++) Even the new ones such as Android uses JNI & ...
22
votes
13answers
4k views

Low level programming - what's in it for me?

For years I have considered digging into what I consider "low level" languages. For me this means C and assembly. However I had no time for this yet, nor has it EVER been neccessary. Now because I ...
12
votes
10answers
4k views

What do you consider to be a high-level language and for what reason?

Traditionally, C was called a high-level language, but these days it is often referred to as a low-level language (it is high-level compared to Assembly, but it is very low-level compared to, for ...
9
votes
8answers
5k views

Learning computer architecture as a programmer [closed]

I typically run across gurus at SO and other places (instructors, book authors etc.) that would say something along the lines "This will cause alignment issues" or other low level tidbits. I want to ...
29
votes
13answers
2k views

How good does a well-rounded programmer need to be with bit-wise operations? [closed]

I have been browsing some OpenJDK code recently and have found some intriguing pieces of code there that has to do with bit-wise operations. I even asked a question about it on StackOverflow. ...
12
votes
8answers
995 views

What are the complexities of memory-unmanaged programming?

Or in other words, what specific problems did automated garbage collection solve? I've never done low-level programming, so I don't know how complicated can freeing resources get. Update - apologies ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

High level vs. low level programming. Do I really have to choose? [closed]

Every once in a while I'm asked in interviews which I like the best- low level or high level. It seems to me that the implicit message is that they are both a specialty and they want to know which ...
2
votes
7answers
4k views

Is a degree needed for low-level/embedded programming jobs? [closed]

I know that it is possible to get into software development without a degree in computer science, but is it possible (or rather, common) to be able to get an embedded programming job without the ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I get more experience with lower level programming?

I'm about 3 years experience as .NET developer, but I'm sad I haven't gotten to create anything that excites me because I'm just using puzzle pieces someone else has already created. I learned most ...
12
votes
4answers
997 views

What are the algorithms behind low pause GC?

Some languages, for exemple java, introduced a low pause GC. Those GC can do most of the work without pausing the whole world. This is obviously a quite hard problem because it require to analyze the ...
16
votes
10answers
2k views

As a programmer, should I know low and high-level programming languages? [closed]

I been contacted to do some work remote controlling LEDs displays over TCP/IP, but my experience and preparation is mostly about high-level programming language. I said that to the person who contact ...
3
votes
1answer
511 views

Checking out systems programming, what should I learn, using what resources? [duplicate]

I have done some hobby application development, but now I'm interested in checking out systems programming (mainly operating systems, Linux kernel etc.). I know low-level languages like C, and I know ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Which languages are used today for low-level programming? [closed]

When I hear low-level programming, such as for drivers, embedded systems, operating systems, etc., I immediately think about C and perhaps C++. But mainly C. But what other languages are also used ...
0
votes
3answers
428 views

What is the absolute minimum set of instructions required to build a Turing complete processor

I have a general idea of how the processor handles instructions but spend my time working in mostly high level languages. Maybe somebody who works closer to the iron can provide some valuable insight. ...
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 ...