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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9answers
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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
12answers
3k 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, ...
37
votes
7answers
33k 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), ...
37
votes
3answers
3k views

What is So Unique About Node.js?

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 ...
36
votes
28answers
4k 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 ...
35
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26answers
2k 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 ...
35
votes
21answers
2k views

Has whitespace in identifiers ever been idiomatic?

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 ...
35
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
35
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12answers
2k 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 ...
35
votes
15answers
10k 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?
35
votes
7answers
4k 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
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11answers
3k views

What are the factors that have made Java a success as a programming language in enterprise computing?

What are the factors that have made Java a success as a programming language in enterprise computing?
33
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
33
votes
9answers
10k views

Why is String immutable in Java?

I couldn't understand the reason of it. I always use String class like other developers, but when I modify the value of it, I need to create new instance of String. What might be the reason of ...
33
votes
8answers
3k 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
32
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
32
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
31
votes
9answers
2k views

Why are structs/arrays zero based?

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
10answers
3k views

How to handle divide by zero in a language that doesn't support exceptions?

I'm in the middle of developing a new programming language to solve some business requirements, and this language is targeted at novice users. So there is no support for exception handling in the ...
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 ...
31
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
30
votes
17answers
6k 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 ...
30
votes
3answers
1k 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?
29
votes
12answers
4k 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 ...
29
votes
10answers
2k views

What mistakes do language writers often make which doom their language? [closed]

Are there common mistakes that language creators make that prevent or slow the adoption of their language? An example (though perhaps not a good one): they focus more on language semantics than tool ...
29
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2answers
2k 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 ...
29
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3answers
30k 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 ...
28
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16answers
6k views

Modern programming language with intuitive concurrent programming abstractions

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 ...
28
votes
15answers
2k views

Is it wise to be going back and forth between two programming languages? [closed]

I have been writing quite a lot of PHP for nearly two years. Now I am doing .NET (mainly c#) development. However, sometimes I go back and do some php. My main question is, is it wise for me to ...
27
votes
17answers
2k 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 -- ...
27
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
26
votes
8answers
7k views

Why do large websites use different languages for the backend and frontend?

My understanding from small MVC applications is that you have the front end, which deals with HTML, JS, jQuery, etc, and you have the back end, which consists of your controllers and models. ...
26
votes
15answers
9k views

Is it possible to combine programming languages?

I've been programming for a while, I've written some rudimentary programs, and I want to keep learning. I've reached that point where you just don't know what to learn next, and I'd like to ask a ...
26
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
26
votes
11answers
8k views

What to do when coding begins to feel boring, like it is all just more of the same? [closed]

I started programming at the age of 6 on a Commodore 64. Now I'm 28, and I have to complete 4 courses from a first degree in Computer Science. I'm starting to get bored with writing code after all ...
26
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
1k views

What exactly is a programming language? What enables us to write in such a language?

Alright I'm new to programming and I admit this is a fairly abstract question. The natural language we speak every day exist because people can understand each other. How can computers understand my ...
26
votes
10answers
3k views

Would you use (a dialect of) LISP for a real-world application? Where and why?

LISP (and dialects such as Scheme, Common LISP and Clojure) haven't gained much industry support even though they are quite decent programming languages. (At the moment though it seems like they are ...
26
votes
6answers
11k views

What is early and late binding?

In many interviews I've been asked this question. I found the following answer: Early binding refers to assignment of values to variables during design time whereas late binding refers to ...
26
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4answers
1k views

How do programming languages define functions?

How do programming languages define and save functions/methods? I am creating an interpreted programming language in Ruby, and I am trying to figure out how to implement function declaration. My ...
25
votes
19answers
3k views

Most hated C++ feature [closed]

Which is the most hated C++ feature that C++ programmers can't avoid using?
25
votes
13answers
17k 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 ...
25
votes
13answers
4k views

Is it worth to learn Experimental Languages?

I'm a young programmer who desires to work in the field someday as a programmer. I know Java, VB.NET and C#. I want to learn a new language (as I programmer, I know that it is valuable to extend ...
25
votes
13answers
4k views

Why are objects passed by reference?

A young co-worker who was studying OO has asked me why every object is passed by reference, which is the opposite of primitive types or structs. It is a common characteristic of languages such as Java ...
25
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
25
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
24
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> ...
24
votes
13answers
809 views

Why does there seem to be a lot of fear in choosing the “wrong” language to learn? [closed]

Perhaps its just me, but as a current CS student I have already come across many questions on this site and elsewhere about not just "Which language should I use for x?" but also "Does anyone still ...