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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19
votes
14answers
1k views

Is good code impossible in modern software development? [closed]

It seems that even that developer tools has become more solid and robust, writing good code has become a challenge. Even that tools are more powerful, quality of code haven’t got better. I come up ...
3
votes
2answers
200 views

What was the first language to support convenient user-land recursion?

What was the first programming language to support convenient user-land recursion? I know that early languages did not support it, but can find no specifics on when it was introduced.
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Are non Turing-complete languages considered programming languages at all? [closed]

Reading a recent question: Is it actually possible to have a 'useful' programming language that isn't Turing complete?, I've come to wonder whether non Turing-complete programming languages are ...
0
votes
2answers
334 views

Why doesn't Java implement a better way of handling getters and setters? [closed]

Getters and setters are everywhere in Java, but they are managed in a horribly outdated way. Simply put: Why doesn't a newer version of Java enable a simpler syntax for managing it? Even if this ...
-4
votes
4answers
302 views

Why aren't named switch statements a language feature? [closed]

I could imagine the below code being somewhat useful. Is there a reason this pattern hasn't made it into programming languages? To be clear the string was just what I chose as an example you could ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Is it a reasonable task to automatically convert ANTLR grammars to my own format?

I was working on my own parser generator tool in Clojure and then I realised I want to test it with some real programming languages. I can find a lot of existing language grammars only in antlr v4 ...
35
votes
5answers
45k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

What is an algorithmic programming language? [closed]

"... You need to understand the core language: is it algorithmic, functional, object-oriented? ..." - Effective Java, Joshua Bloch, 2ndEd. 2008. Foreword, p xiii Functional: Lisp, OO: Java, but what ...
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
428 views

Is `isNaN`' a bad design or a has-to-be design with tradeoffs?

My first programming language is python. And recently I'm learning C and javascript. In javascript, there is a design which confused me a lot, default the function isNaN. Put aside its weird ...
5
votes
2answers
446 views

How are scripting languages compiled?

I know the term "scripting languages" is just a subset of programming languages, but I want to refer to programming languages such as Python and Ruby among others. First of all, why don't we need a ...
0
votes
1answer
214 views

Do any languages have syntax for promises? [closed]

I'm really glad that EcmaScript 6 has promises built into the language, but the syntax will still be quite wordy: new Promise(f).then(r => { ... }).then(r2 => ... }).catch(... I'm just ...
2
votes
5answers
335 views

What happened to VM based deployments?

Watched some MountainWest RubyConf 2014 talks and noticed an interesting theme. Many dynamic programming environments back in the old days used to be self-contained VM images, e.g. SmallTalk, ...
74
votes
6answers
9k views

Why was Python's popularity so sudden? [closed]

Python first appeared in 1991, but it was somewhat unknown until 2004, if the TIOBE rankings quantify anything meaningful. What happened? What caused the interest in this 13 year old language to go ...
11
votes
4answers
973 views

Is Language-Oriented Programming practical?

I read this article on Language-Oriented Programming. He points out some weaknesses in the modern procedural/OOP approaches to programming, and suggests a new programming paradigm that will solve them ...
2
votes
2answers
934 views

What is the reason behind the if syntax of CoffeeScript?

In most other languages the condition comes before the statement to be executed when the condition is met. However, in CoffeeScript (and maybe some other languages) the syntax is: number = -42 if ...
8
votes
2answers
836 views

In layman's terms, what is left recursion?

According to one page on code.google.com, "left recursion" is defined as follows: Left recursion just refers to any recursive nonterminal that, when it produces a sentential form containing ...
5
votes
7answers
575 views

How to choose a language, when taking in account the community it includes? [closed]

I was reading the following article: Great Hackers The following part grabbed my attention: "When you choose a language, you're also choosing a community. The programmers you'll be able to hire ...
5
votes
12answers
3k views

One language to rule them all? (Them being platforms.) [closed]

I have been discussing a project with a client and they want to use a single language to deploy to as many platforms as possible. (I am not sure that it's such a good idea, because each platform ...
3
votes
2answers
73 views

Implementing incremental builds [closed]

I'm working on a toy language. Until now, multiple files have been compiled by merging the ASTs of each file and then running the semantic analysis and code generation phase on the merged AST. Now ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do build tools use a scripting language different than underlying programming language?

I've recently been using some build tools for a Nodejs project at work when I realized that most languages' main build tool/system use a different language than the underlying programming language ...
3
votes
7answers
712 views

Why can we not insert into files without the additional writes? (I neither mean append, nor over-write)

This occurs as a programming language independent problem to me. I have a file with the content aaabddd When I want to insert C behind b then my code needs to rewrite ddd to get aaabCddd Why ...
0
votes
2answers
129 views

Can there be value types in dynamic languages? [closed]

A value type is one whose instances are themselves saved in variables. A reference type is a type whose instances are saved somewhere and variables only hold the addresses of the instances. Some ...
16
votes
10answers
5k views

Why learn more programming languages? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: (Why) Should I learn a new programming language? I came across a line in this article which is, Learn one programming language every year Why do good programmers ...
26
votes
5answers
33k views

Programming Language vs Markup Language vs Scripting Language

Up until now I don't know the KEY differences between these three. When someone asks me about this, I only tell them that C# is a programming language, HTML and XML are Markup Languages, and ...
2
votes
2answers
216 views

Why not expose activation records as data types? [closed]

Scoped languages tend to store the local variables of a given scope or function together in a data structure known as an activation record. Stack frames are examples of instances of activation ...
26
votes
6answers
3k views

What specifically does expressive power refer to?

Expressive Power is defined by Wikipedia as: .. the breadth of ideas that can be represented and communicated in that language. Does "ideas" refer to the things (operations, structures, ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Functional programming, compared to the process of a computer [duplicate]

In functional programming, it is considered bad practice (at least from my observations) to use state changes. Since computers operate in an imperative-language-like matter (performing one operation ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

How do references work in R?

I'm finding R confusing because it has such a different notion of reference than I am used to in languages like C, Java, Javascript... Ruby, Python, C++, well, pretty much any language I have ever ...
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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
344 views

How are complex programs made? [duplicate]

I know a few languages, and can program in them. How do multiple languages blend together in a single program? For ex. https://github.com/facebook/watchman. This uses C, PHP, Python, Javascript, etc. ...
1
vote
4answers
139 views

When is an object passed to a function?

Trying to clearly state the semantics of a function call. In calling a function, are the arguments passed to the function the ones the calling code initially gives or the ones the function ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do arrays in .Net have Length but other collection types have Count? [closed]

In C# for example, arrays have Length property. But other collection types like lists, etc. have Count property. Is there a reason why these two are different? If so I would like to know.
37
votes
13answers
52k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
599 views

In what programming language did the use of the percent sign (%) to mean modulo/remainder originate?

In what programming language did the use of the percent sign (%) to mean modulo/remainder originate? This previous post1 explains that the symbol % was likely chosen because it includes a slash, ...
-2
votes
1answer
232 views

Question about switch-case statement [closed]

What happens, and does code work properly if we write switch-case structure like this, why its not good to write code like this? I'm porting some firmware and have switch-case statement interrupted ...
2
votes
4answers
143 views

Clean Abstract Syntax Tree

I'm writing a toy compiler for fun. Basically, my problem is that I don't want to clutter the AST with stuff like debug information (symbol tokens, locations of tokens, etc) as well as data that the ...
0
votes
0answers
76 views

Why are scriptlets considered bad practice in JSPs when much more popular languages such as PHP seem not have any problem with them? [duplicate]

Why is doing <% if(blahblah) { //do something } %> in a JSP considered to be bad practice when noone who writes PHP seems to have any problem with doing essentially the ...
5
votes
2answers
778 views

A study shows that lines_written/time is language-independent for most programmers. Where can it be found? [closed]

A study shows that lines_written/time is language-independent and application-independent for most programmers. If this were true it would imply that the most terse a language is, the more productive ...
4
votes
2answers
480 views

Why do people confuse C-type strings and STL strings [closed]

The last week I saw at least three questions where people were confused about the differences between char * and std::string or made some related mistakes. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem ...
35
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
553 views

Giving variables default values vs. treating accessing an undefined variable as an error

Having messed around with several scripting languages and being a bit of a linguist, there seems to be a way to divide dynamically typed languages into two groups: languages that give variables a ...
4
votes
2answers
202 views

Are string characters assigned a numerical value in context of how they are assigned in a programming language?

For context I am fairly new to programming after returning back to it after programming a number of years ago... I was reading Bjarne's intro programming with C++ and was wondering if alphabetical ...
2
votes
2answers
156 views

Incorporating functions into a Shunting-Yard algorithm implementation

tl;dr What would be a simple way of incorporating functions into a Shunting-Yard algorithm implementation? If only expressions like function(arg1, arg2, arg3) were allowed (where function is some ...
0
votes
2answers
173 views

Are private members useful anymore? [duplicate]

Watchpoints and data break points make it possible to watch the changes of a value in memory in many languages. Much of the justification I have seen for getters and setters and private variables ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Synchronizing webpage and local pdf

I would like to solve the following problem. On my website, I have a list of my publications. I also have my list of publications on a latex file of my cv. The issue is that I update these manually, ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Documenting a programming language: Reference Manual

We are looking at revamping documentation across our product line. Part of that includes reference manuals for a programming language used as part of the system. When writing a reference manual for a ...
69
votes
13answers
7k views

Do objects in OOP have to represent an entity?

Does an object have to represent an entity? By an entity I mean something like a Product, Motor, a ParkingLot etc, a physical, or a conceptual object, something that is well defined, with some core ...
0
votes
0answers
77 views

Why are datatypes different in terms of bit size based on complier, and OS used

I was reading a tutorial on C++ as I am new to programming, and I was wondering why the sizeof operator gives different output depending on what you're programming with.
73
votes
15answers
31k views

What makes C so popular in the age of OOP? [closed]

I code a lot in both C and C++, but did not expect C to be the second most popular language, slightly behind Java. TIOBE Programming Community Index I'm curious as to why, in this age of OOP, C is ...