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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52
votes
3answers
8k views

What are the biggest differences between F# and Scala?

F# and Scala are both functional programming langugages that don't force the developer to only use immutable datatypes. They both have support for objects, can use libraries written in other languages ...
51
votes
14answers
6k views

Keep a programming language backwards compatible vs. fixing its flaws

First, some context (stuff that most of you know anyway): Every popular programming language has a clear evolution, most of the time marked by its version: you have Java 5, 6, 7 etc., PHP 5.1, 5.2, 5....
49
votes
7answers
103k views

How do I learn Python from zero to web development? [closed]

I am looking into learning Python for web development. Assuming I already have some basic web development experience with Java (JSP/Servlets), I'm already familiar with web design (HTML, CSS, JS), ...
48
votes
23answers
12k views

Why can't there be an “universal” programming language that serves all purposes? [closed]

why not combine the best features of the all existent programming languages and fit it in a universal programming language?
48
votes
7answers
7k 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; ...
47
votes
4answers
9k views

Why do so few languages with a variable-type 'operator' exist?

I mean it in this way: <?php $number1 = 5; // (Type 'Int') $operator1 = +; // (Type non-existent 'Operator') $number2 = 5; // (Type 'Int') $operator2 = *; // (Type non-...
46
votes
11answers
193k views

For what reasons should I choose C# over Java and C++? [closed]

C# seems to be popular these days. I heard that syntactically it is almost the same as Java. Java and C++ have existed for a longer time. For what reasons should I choose C# over Java and C++?
46
votes
12answers
6k views

What programming language generates fewest hard-to-find bugs? [closed]

What language, in your opinion, allows the average programmer to output features with the least amount of hard-to-find bugs? This is of course, a very broad question, and I'm interested in very broad ...
45
votes
26answers
7k views

The most mind-bending programming language? [closed]

From a reasonably common programming language, which do you find to be the most mind-bending? I have been listening to a lot of programming podcasts and taking some time to learn some new languages ...
45
votes
8answers
10k views

Why didn't == operator string value comparison make it to Java?

Every competent Java programmer knows that you need to use String.equals() to compare a string, rather than == because == checks for reference equality. When I'm dealing with strings, most of the ...
45
votes
6answers
5k views

Explanation of how server-side programming languages are accessed

It is my understanding that any general-purpose programming language can be used for server-side development of a website. Am I right in thinking that a server just needs some kind of interface such ...
45
votes
3answers
5k views

What is So Unique About Node.js? [closed]

Recently there has been a lot of praise for Node.js. I am not a developer that has had much exposure to network application. From my bare understanding of Nodes.js, its strength is: we have only one ...
44
votes
9answers
6k views

What is the most orthogonal programming language? [closed]

I find myself repeatedly annoyed by having to teach freshmen about special language rules (like array-to-pointer decay) that have absolutely nothing to do with programming in itself. So I wondered: ...
42
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 ...
42
votes
21answers
11k 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
28answers
8k 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 ...
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
8answers
24k 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? ...
42
votes
3answers
74k 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 definitely put on the resume but say I took I couple ...
41
votes
40answers
5k views

Is anything in programming truly evil? [closed]

So, there are a bunch of questions appearing asking is X evil, is Y evil. My view is that there are no language constructs, algorithms or whatever which are evil, just ones which are badly used. ...
41
votes
25answers
72k views

Will Java still be relevant in 5 years? [closed]

Will Java have the same importance it had in the past, or it will be less relevant than nowadays?
41
votes
15answers
22k 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?
41
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
41
votes
4answers
33k 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 ...
40
votes
14answers
10k 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
18answers
8k 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 ...
40
votes
5answers
47k 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 ...
39
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
37
votes
13answers
55k 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
10answers
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 & ...
37
votes
4answers
9k 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 light-...
37
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 ...
37
votes
11answers
6k 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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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
22answers
4k views

Are there drawbacks to taking a job where I will be using a unique programming language? [closed]

I just graduated from college with a degree in CS, so I would like to find a job where I can learn more about the field and build up some professional experience. I've interviewed at a company that ...
35
votes
2answers
12k 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
17answers
14k 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 ...
35
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 ...
35
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
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 ...
35
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 ...
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 ...