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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49
votes
14answers
5k 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, ...
32
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
37
votes
22answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
88 views

Property-level value transformation for indirect object casting

Does any programming language exist to support the explicit, property-level object copy? For example, assume this code: public class Student { public string Name { get; set; } public ...
1
vote
2answers
207 views

How do you guard against hidden overflows

consider the following: (i+j)/2 i and j are both 32 bit integers and the result should also be. But in the little equation, there's a hidden overflow, i+j could become larger then a 32 bit integer ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

Hardware-control on one computer. But how about several?

For a while I have been pondering the question of, given a standard interface specification, whether there is a way to allow multiple programs to control multiple hardware devices across the network. ...
25
votes
6answers
12k views

Programming language usage at Google [closed]

I have heard Google uses Python, Java and C++. But what I don't know is how is each of those programming language is used. I mean what is Python, Java and C++ is used for at Google. Why would they ...
-3
votes
1answer
356 views

Why is the JavaScript-language different in different programs/sites? [closed]

I'm kind of new to programming and i have a question that's been bothering me for awhile. Why is the JavaScript-language different in different programs/sites. I've used Codecademy to practice and ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

How should I recursively process a file in Haskell?

Basically I'm expanding a literate program in Haskell. There are two things I need to look for to expand. Here's an example file: program.c.lit: ============== Some comments in the source file that I ...
5
votes
4answers
344 views

Which language introduced the idea of private (hidden) variables? [duplicate]

I know C++ had private variables inside classes, and Java, C#, Javascript, and others picked up on that and ran with it. Aside from variable scope, most languages before that just made everything ...
7
votes
6answers
9k views

Which language is best for OpenGL? [closed]

I have the following list of languages: C++ C# VB.Net D Delphi Euphoria GLUT Java Power Basic Python REALbasic Visual Basic I would like to know what people think is the: Best (most efficient) ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Writing a new programming language - when and how to bootstrap datastructures?

I'm in the process of writing my own programming language which, thus far, has been going great in terms of what I set out to accomplish. However, now, I'd like to bootstrap some pre-existing data ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

what is a language specification?

Either I am being a total n00b or just not with it today but I have been reading a few blogs lately and they talk about language specs. What actually is a language spec? Is php.net a language spec? ...
5
votes
3answers
364 views

Declaring variables in Python and PHP

The question is how to cope with absence of variable declaration in Python, PHP, and the like. In most languages there is a way to let the compiler know whether I introduce a new variable or refer to ...
11
votes
10answers
3k views

Can a closed-source programming language survive? [closed]

A friend has written a programming language. It has a syntax reminiscent of SGML. He has written an interpreter for it, and an IDE. He and his colleagues use it in-house as a server-side language. It ...
2
votes
3answers
332 views

Choosing language to write general library in

I'm about to start writing a library to support machine learning algorithms (decision trees, ANNs, Bayes nets, etc.), and I'm planning on making this a very general library. By this, I mean I want to ...
2
votes
4answers
330 views

Practice programming guidance [closed]

I am a recent graduate so I understand a lot of the theory, object-oriented languages, and various data structures. I am competent in languages such as C++, Java, PHP, just to name the ones I'm ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What negative consequences can arise from this language design rule?

Clarification: the rule is meant to prevent accessing variables that are not declared yet. Clarification 2: the rule mandates that the compiler follows calls to functions which are defined in the ...
4
votes
5answers
972 views

Does this kind of programming language exist?

I'm thinking about creating my own pet programming language, and I have been wondering if similar language already exists. The basic idea is that the language itself would be dynamically typed with ...
57
votes
16answers
21k 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
1k 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
176 views

Is this a viable approach to resolving multiple matches in a lexer?

I'm writing a lexer in JavaScript. It's pretty typical - rules are specified with regular expressions and produce a token. I am unsure of the best way to handle when multiple rules are matched. The ...
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?) ...
1
vote
2answers
300 views

Can a version of Python's shelve module that knows when its entries have been modified be written in any programming language?

shelve is a Python module that makes it easy to persist a Python dictionary to disk (under the right conditions). The documentation for shelve gives this example to demonstrate one of the pitfalls of ...
31
votes
6answers
2k 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
349 views

How do programming languages integrate with OS runtimes

For example, Objective-C, Swift and Ruby (i.e. RubyMotion) integrate with the Cocoa framework. Is this done via linked libraries? I assume they call functions in existing binaries instead of simply ...
0
votes
3answers
167 views

is there any language that supports automatic evaluation of input expressions?

I'm wondering if anyone knows of a language that supports automatic-evaluation. (not sure this is the right term. so let me describe what I mean below) For example, a program asks for an int as its ...
2
votes
2answers
555 views

What are the benefits of learning an old programming language? [duplicate]

I plan to learn programming languages like C and AWK since a lot of people said that what I will learn in C can be applied to a lot of modern programming languages and I plan to learn AWK because I ...
1
vote
2answers
310 views

is JS a gradually typed language?

I was researching on statically typed and dynamically typed concepts and found out there is another type system called gradually typed. From wikipedia Gradual typing is a type system in which ...
0
votes
2answers
194 views

Is PHP the only popular language that mixes simple and associative arrays into a single type? [closed]

I'm doing a research on PHP and wondering if there any other commonly used programming langues that use an associative array for both simple indexed element storage and key-value functionality. Does ...
1
vote
8answers
704 views

How do people make money by writing programming languages? [closed]

Why will anyone even attempt to write a programming language? It seems to be a tedious task and the alternative (simply using an existing language) seems to make much more economical sense. ...
-1
votes
1answer
181 views

All programming functions always return to the If or If/Else statement? [closed]

After learning, coding, and coding even more than ever now, I have noticed a trend in a lot of programming which I do. The trend is that the majority of my functions are if{} or if{} else{} statements ...
11
votes
4answers
809 views

Standards for reading code out loud?

Has anyone defined a standard for reading code out loud, for any language? I imagine this is important to software like screen readers for the vision-impaired. This sort of thing also comes up when ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it beneficial to study past the basics of a core language when the primary goal is to rely on its framework? [closed]

Please keep in mind this is not another 'How much [insert programming language here] should I know before moving onto [insert framework here]?' What I'd like to know is how beneficial is it to learn ...
0
votes
3answers
258 views

How to get an image or rectangle to detect collision with another image

Can someone please explain to me how to detect collision with another image? The tutorial I was watching explained how to detect if a collision occurs between two rectangles but I would like to use ...
3
votes
3answers
596 views

Choosing the right language for the job

I'm currently working for a company on the engineering team of about 5-6 people and have been given the job of heading up the redesign of an embedded system tester. We've decided the general ...
-6
votes
3answers
289 views

Determine Programming Language Used for Project Based on Source Code [closed]

Is there an easy way to determine which programming languages were used in a project assuming you have access to the source code? I have been programming for quite some time, so I can recognize most ...
2
votes
1answer
705 views

Why are most functional programming languages also interpreted languages?

Functional/non-functional and interpreted/compiled are two different categorizations, yet it seems that there are a lot of overlaps in the programming languages that fall under those categories. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

High-level description of how experimental C++ features are developed?

Herb Sutter in a video answers a question about the concepts proposal considered for C++11 and from his remarks it sounds like multiple groups offered prototype implementations but all of them left ...
5
votes
1answer
668 views

Is there an imperative language with a Haskell-like type system? [closed]

I've tried to learn Haskell a few times over the last few years, and, maybe because I know mainly scripting languages, the functional-ness of it has always bothered me (monads seem like a huge mess ...
3
votes
2answers
298 views

Comparison of languages by usage type? [closed]

Does anyone know of a good place to go find comparisons of programming languages by the intended platform/usage? Basically, what I want to know, is of the more popular languages, which ones are meant ...
2
votes
0answers
104 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
500 views

Does a programming language increase/decrease value? [closed]

Let's say you develop a software program for Windows in C#, then Joe Blow develops the same software program for Windows but instead codes it using C++. If Joe Blow were to sell that software program, ...
1
vote
1answer
250 views

Object-Oriented equivalent of LISP's progn function?

I'm currently writing a LISP parser that iterates through some AutoLISP code and does its best to make it a little easier to read (changing prefix notation to infix notation, changing setq assignments ...
141
votes
26answers
13k views

Is constantly looking for code examples a sign of a bad developer?

I am a CS student with several years of experience in C and C++, and for the last few years I've been constantly working with Java/Objective C doing app development and now I have switched to web ...
3
votes
5answers
601 views

Should sanity be a property of a programmer or a program? [closed]

I design and implement languages, that can range from object notations to markup languages. In many cases I have considered restrictions in favor of sanity (common knowledge), like in the case of ...
-2
votes
1answer
111 views

How to make a non-english clone of CoffeeScript? [closed]

I want to make a non-english programming language that is identical to what CoffeeScript is to JavaScript. What I mean is that I don't want to build my own design or syntax. Just want to have a ...
20
votes
9answers
39k views

How many types of programming languages are there? [closed]

Basically, I want to learn lots of programming languages to become a great programmer. I know only a handful to depth and I was hoping someone could elaborate on how many classes or types of ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Dealing with not knowing parameter names of a function when you're calling it

Here's a programming/language problem I'd like to hear your thoughts on. We have developed conventions that most programmers (should) follow that aren't a part of the languages syntax but serve to ...
0
votes
2answers
232 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, ...