6
votes
7answers
691 views

Why isn't there a next operation on enums?

In most popular programming languages like Java and C# there is a way to define enums, which are essentially datatypes with a fixed set of values, e.g. DayOfWeek. The problem is, given a value, e.g. ...
28
votes
6answers
3k views

Why isn't testing a language a supported feature at the syntax level?

You can find an endless list of blogs, articles and websites promoting the benefits of unit testing your source code. It's almost guaranteed that the developers who programmed the compilers for Java, ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Using JavaScript to find the correct offset in bundled files

I am currently making multiple parsers using PEGjs and have implemented my own partial preprocessor which using a RegExp finds and replaces '#include' directives with the desired files, resulting in a ...
2
votes
4answers
694 views

Why are scientific programming languages so weird? [closed]

It seems to me that programming languages meant for use in science and engineering are consistently weird compared to general-purpose languages. Some examples off the top of my head: In Matlab, each ...
2
votes
3answers
461 views

Syntactic Sugar for old languages

I first learned about the existence of syntactic sugar languages, like CoffeeScript and SASS while working in Rails. This got me thinking... why do we not have well-known (if any at all) syntactic ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

Languages like Tcl that have configurable syntax? [duplicate]

I'm looking for a language that will let me do what I could do with Clipper years ago, and which I can do with Tcl, namely add functionality in a way other than just adding functions. For example in ...
8
votes
6answers
920 views

Optional semicolons

Most often, in a general-purpose imperative language - semicolons as statement-delimiters are either required, or completely disallowed (e.g. C and Python). However, some languages, like JavaScript, ...
1
vote
1answer
397 views

How to write a syntax checker [closed]

How is a syntax checker for a programming language written? I am guessing a grammar has to be written first. How to then proceed? Motivation I'm using a programming language (Apex for Salesforce) ...
0
votes
3answers
372 views

Any languages use the '=>' and '=<' operators? [closed]

I'm just curious if there are any programming languages that use the '=>' and '=<' operators for something. I wonder why these are not commonly used when their variant '<=' and '>=' are so ...
45
votes
7answers
4k views

Why are semicolons and commas interchanged in for loops?

In many languages (a wide list, from C to JavaScript): commas , separate arguments (e.g. func(a, b, c)), while semicolons ; separate sequential instructions (e.g. instruction1; instruction2; ...
68
votes
3answers
22k views

Why do programming languages, especially C, use curly braces and not square ones?

The definition of "C-Style language" can practically be simplified down to "uses curly braces ({})." Why do we use that particular character (and why not something more reasonable, like [], which ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Why isn't functional language syntax more close to human language?

I'm interested in functional programming and decided to get head to head with Haskell. My head hurts... but I'll eventually get it... I have one curiosity though, why is the syntax so cryptic (in lack ...
1
vote
3answers
271 views

How can you learn names of methods or classes of a framework or an API?

I've been programming C++ for a year now. I've gone through the language features and I've written good programs with it, so I decided to move on to OpenGL. At first it seemed confusing. As I kept ...
106
votes
12answers
10k views

Why are statements in many programming languages terminated by semicolons?

Is there a reason that a semi-colon was chosen as a line terminator instead of a different symbol? I want to know the history behind this decision, and hope the answers will lead to insights that may ...
10
votes
11answers
704 views

Is there a personalizable programming language you can use to convert to others?

Is there a programming language in which you can set your own syntax configurations and it would convert the code to a language you choose? For instance, you would choose specific configurations like ...
0
votes
2answers
249 views

Does syntax matters for a (Lispy) Domain Specific Language (MELT, inside GCC)?

I am the main author and designer of MELT, a domain specific language to extend GCC (the Gnu Compiler Collection). The implementation is available free software (GPLv3 licensed). If you want a ...
12
votes
5answers
635 views

Does the syntax of programming languages depend upon their implementation?

Although, my question may be entirely irrelevant, but I have sensed a pattern between most programming languages and their official implementations. Interpreted (byte-interpreted?) languages like ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Whats the difference between syntax and grammar?

I understand the difference between syntax and semantics - syntax - how the symbols are combined to form a valid expression or statement. semantics - the meaning of those symbols that form an ...
26
votes
15answers
2k views

Is there a language out there in which parameters are placed inside method name?

in JavaScript: function getTopCustomersOfTheYear(howManyCustomers, whichYear) { // Some code here. } getTopCustomersOfTheYear(50, 2010); in C#: public List<Customer> ...
19
votes
12answers
2k views

Is there a language offering LISP-like macros with a more complex syntax?

LISP's macros are extremely powerful constructs, and the inability to introspect and modify the program itself beyond the method signature level has always struck me as a limitation. Yet I favour ...
9
votes
14answers
2k views

How do you keep all those languages straight in your head

I know Java, C#, C++. I have used Perl, and am picking up Python and Actionscript 3. This is certainly a path others have trodden, so I am asking how do you keep all these languages straight in your ...
3
votes
2answers
748 views

Why do more languages not support ===

I mean it as it is used in JavaScript. Just curious why this is not supported in more languages? Like Java for example does not have it? Seems to be a very useful operator to have.
10
votes
9answers
1k views

Should programming languages be strict or loose?

In Python and JavaScript, semi-colons are optional. In PHP, quotes around array-keys are optional ($_GET[key] vs $_GET['key']), although if you omit them it will first look for a constant by that ...
83
votes
15answers
9k views

Why did memory-managed languages like Java, Javascript, and C# retain the `new` keyword?

The new keyword in languages like Java, Javascript, and C# creates a new instance of a class. This syntax seems to have been inherited from C++, where new is used specifically to allocate a new ...
31
votes
17answers
4k views

Does syntax really matter in a programming language?

One of my professors says "the syntax is the UI of a programming language", languages like Ruby have great readability and it's growing, but we see a lot of programmers productive with C\C++, so as ...
12
votes
22answers
1k views

Which useful alternative control structures do you know? [closed]

Similar question was closed on SO. Sometimes when we're programming, we find that some particular control structure would be very useful to us, but is not directly available in our programming ...
38
votes
14answers
6k views

Why is there still case sensitivity in some programming languages?

I don't see any use for case sensitivity in a programming language, apart from obfuscating code. Why implement this in a programming language? Update: It looks like someone you know made a ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

Rigorous Definition of Syntactic Sugar?

It seems like in language holy wars, people constantly denigrate any feature they don't find particularly useful as being "just syntactic sugar". The line between "real features" and "syntactic ...
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
3answers
603 views

How useful are infix operators in a programming language?

How useful are infix operators in a programming language? Are they worth the extra complexity they provide? Can you provide any examples where infix operators are better suited to the problem that ...