Artificial languages for instructing computers to do steps of computation in order to complete tasks. They allow programmers to communicate with computers.

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42
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21answers
10k views

Is it true that once you learn one language most of the rest come easy? [closed]

I was told by someone that I should start with Python and then, once I'm fluent in Python, the rest of the languages will be learned quickly. Is there any truth to this?
42
votes
8answers
4k views

Do object-oriented programming languages exist that are not class-based?

Are there any object-oriented programming languages that are not based on the class paradigm?
42
votes
3answers
69k views

Putting a programming language on your resume? [closed]

How much experience do you need in a language before you can put it on your resume? There is one language I'm in proficient in (Java) which I would definately put on the resume but say I took I couple ...
41
votes
28answers
7k views

When is it reasonable to create my own programming language?

Are there types of killer applications, classes of algorithmic problems, etc., where it is better, in the long run, to create my own language? PS: Just to be sure, I mean a new programming language ...
41
votes
15answers
21k views

Why are there so many programming languages? Why are new languages still being made? [closed]

Why are there so many programming languages? And what prompts someone to create a programming languages in spite of the fact that other languages already exist?
40
votes
14answers
9k 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 ...
40
votes
13answers
8k views

Why do you have to specify the data type when declaring variables?

In most coding languages (if not all) you need to declare variables. For example in C# if its a number field then int PhoneNumber If I'm using normal English language I do not need to declare ...
40
votes
18answers
7k views

Does syntax really matter in a programming language? [closed]

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 ...
39
votes
12answers
3k views

Why are errors named as “Exception” but not as “Error” in programming languages?

I've been thinking about that for quite a while actually. I am not a native english speaker myself but still I have years of programming experience and I always asked me this. Why is it named as ...
39
votes
3answers
15k views

How could the first C++ compiler be written in C++?

Stroustrup claims that Cfront, the first C++ compiler, was written in C++ (Stroustrup FAQ). However, how is it even possible that the first C++ compiler be written in C++? The code that makes up the ...
38
votes
22answers
3k views

Has whitespace in identifiers ever been idiomatic? [closed]

C# style suggests using CamelCase in identifiers to delimit words. Lisp tradition suggests using-dashes-instead. Has there ever existed a programming language where using spaces in identifiers was ...
38
votes
3answers
8k views

Why can't `main` return a double or String rather than int or void?

In many languages such as C, C++, and Java, the main method/function has a return type of void or int, but not double or String. What might be the reasons behind that? I know a little bit that we ...
38
votes
15answers
3k views

How would you design a programming language? [closed]

If you were to design a programming language, how would you do it? What features would you put in? What would you leave out? Statically or dynamically typed? Strongly or weakly typed? Compiled or ...
38
votes
7answers
6k views

Is there a reason to have a bottom type in a programming language?

A bottom type is a construct primarily appearing in mathematical type theory. It is also called the empty type. It is a type that has no values, but is a subtype of all types. If a function's return ...
37
votes
13answers
51k views

Why is C++ still preferred to build heavy GUI apps over the latest dynamic languages? [closed]

I see that most of the apps that include heavy GUI content are usually developed in C++. Most of the games/browsers are coded in C++. Can't we just develop better GUI apps with the latest dynamic ...
37
votes
5answers
5k views

What does “context-free” mean in the term “context-free grammar”?

Given the amount of material that tries to explain what a context-free grammar (CFG) is, I found it surprising that very few (in my sample, less than 1 in 20) give an explanation on why such grammars ...
36
votes
26answers
3k views

What do you wish language designers paid attention to? [closed]

The purpose of this question is not to assemble a laundry list of programming language features that you can't live without, or wish was in your main language of choice. The purpose of this question ...
36
votes
9answers
6k 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 & ...
36
votes
11answers
5k views

Why isn't Lisp more widespread?

I am starting to learn Scheme by the SICP videos, and I would like to move to Common Lisp next. The language seems very interesting, and most of the people writings books on it advocate that it has ...
36
votes
3answers
4k views

Why are actual parameters called “arguments”?

Where does the word "argument" (in the programming sense) come from? i.e. Why are actual parameters called "arguments"? The meanings don't seem related, and I haven't found any explanation of it ...
36
votes
7answers
21k views

What is a “side effect?”

I haven’t clearly understood the concept of side effect. What is side effect in programming? Is it programming language dependent? Is there such a thing as external and internal side effects? ...
35
votes
9answers
13k views

Why do schools teach arrays over List? [closed]

Most of the assignments in my school for the initial programming classes required me to use arrays. I work full time now, and I never used an array for any project that I have worked on. Even in the ...
35
votes
2answers
11k 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). ...
35
votes
4answers
8k views

C is written in C, how is this possible? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How could the first C++ compiler be written in C++? I know my question goes to the underground galaxy cave where languages are born and involves some lambda math and ...
35
votes
7answers
5k views

Are all languages basically the same?

Recently, i had to understand the design of a small program written in a language i had no idea about (ABAP, if you must know). I could figure it out without too much difficulty. I realize that ...
35
votes
7answers
6k views

Functional Programming on the rise?

I have noticed lately that functional programming languages are gaining popularity. I recently noticed how the Tiobe Index shows an increase in their popularity in comparison to the last year although ...
34
votes
16answers
12k views

Modern programming language with intuitive concurrent programming abstractions [closed]

I am interested in learning concurrent programming, focusing on the application/user level (not system programming). I am looking for a modern high level programming language that provides intuitive ...
34
votes
8answers
3k views

Is memory management in programming becoming an irrelevant concern?

Background I revisited an old (but great) site I had not been to for ages - the Alioth Language Shootout (http://benchmarksgame.alioth.debian.org/). I started out programming in C/C++ several years ...
34
votes
5answers
44k views

Is Python Interpreted or Compiled?

This is just a wondering I had while reading about interpreted and compiled languages. Ruby is no doubt an interpreted language, since source code is compiled by an interpreter at the point of ...
34
votes
4answers
5k views

How much is Google investing in the Go language?

I have read quite a bit about the Go language, and it seems promising. The last important bit of information I am missing before I decide on spending more effort on the language is: How much money/man ...
34
votes
2answers
3k views

First ATMs programming language

First ATMs performed tasks like a cash dispenser, they were offline machines which worked with punch cards impregnated with Carbon and a 6-digit PIN code. Maximum withdrawal with a card was 10 pounds ...
33
votes
17answers
13k views

How can I feel more confident about my programming skills? [closed]

Programming isn't alien to me. I first starting doing markup (HTML, now please don't laugh at me) when I was 12 and a little bit of BASIC when I was 13 (I knew much about Flowcharts, Pseudocodes at ...
33
votes
8answers
4k views

Are exceptions an OOP concept?

Having read a post yesterday, I realized I did not know much about the origin of exceptions. Is it an OOP related concept only? I tend to think it is, but again there are database exceptions.
33
votes
8answers
4k views

Disadvantages of scoped-based memory management

I really like scope-based memory management (SBMM), or RAII, as it is more commonly (confusingly?) referred to by the C++ community. As far as I know, except for C++ (and C), there's no other ...
33
votes
4answers
27k views

Why were default and static methods added to interfaces in Java 8 when we already had abstract classes?

In Java 8, interfaces can contain implemented methods, static methods, and the so-called "default" methods (which the implementing classes do not need to override). In my (probably naive) view, there ...
32
votes
9answers
4k views

Do dynamic typed languages deserve all the criticism? [closed]

I have read a few articles on Internet about programming language choice in the enterprise. Recently many dynamic typed languages have been popular, i.e. Ruby, Python, PHP and Erlang. But many ...
32
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, ...
32
votes
7answers
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 ...
32
votes
4answers
9k views

Why does Java not do type inference?

I have always wondered why Java does not do type inference given that the language is what it is, and its VM is very mature. Google's Go is an example of a language with excellent type inference and ...
31
votes
16answers
4k views

Do you think that exposure to BASIC can mutilate your mind? [closed]

It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration -- ...
31
votes
9answers
3k views

Why are structs/arrays zero based? [duplicate]

How was it decided that if you have an array/struct or anything similiar in a programming language it should be zero-based? Wouldn't it have been easier if it was 1-based. Afer all, when we are taught ...
31
votes
5answers
5k views

Bad practice - switch case to set environment

In the last three years that I have worked as developer, I have seen a lot of examples where people use a switch statement to set the path (both in back-end and front-end) for a URL. Below is an ...
31
votes
6answers
3k views

Does Lisp still have any special feature which has NOT been adopted by other programming languages?

Does Lisp still have any special feature which has NOT been adopted by other programming languages? By Lisp, I mean all the Lisp programming languages as a whole. I've been told how amazing Lisp is ...
31
votes
3answers
3k views

How will quantum computing change programming? [closed]

How is programming a quantum algorithm different? What would a C like language look like if it was designed for qubits? Would types change?
30
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do some functional programming languages use a space for function application?

Having looked at some languages for functional programming, I always wondered why some fp-languages use one or more whitespace characters for function application (and definition), whereas most (all?) ...
30
votes
12answers
9k views

Any programming language can be mastered easily if the fundamentals of programming are strong. A fact or a myth? [closed]

Is it true that a person with fairly good fundamentals in programming can easily learn any programming language? Well, when I say programming languages, I refer to the agile and dynamic languages ...
30
votes
6answers
6k views

Is an event loop just a for/while loop with optimized polling?

I'm trying to understand what an event loop is. Often the explanation is that in the event loop, you do something until you're notified that an event occurred. You than handle the event and continue ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is a Boolean value stored as a byte inside of a computer when it only requires one bit

I recently started learning to write code, and in my book I came across this question. "Why is a Boolean value stored as a byte inside of a computer when it only requires one bit?" can someone shed ...
30
votes
8answers
3k views

The “blub paradox” and c++

I was reading the article here: http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html and the part about the "blub paradox" was particularly interesting. As someone who mainly codes in c++ but has exposure to other ...
29
votes
10answers
7k views

Why is Math.Sqrt() a static function?

In a discussion about static and instance methods, I always think, that Sqrt() should be a instance method of number types instead of a static method. Why is that? It obviously works on a value. // ...