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comment What job is better for a newbie, one that requires you to create a new program frequently, or something like software maintenance?
You just gotta love the implicit assumption in the question AND the answers that all new grads are created equally skilled, equally knowledgeable, and equally expendable.
Feb
3
comment Can I trust the Basic Schedule Equation?
@SteveCampbell, the equation as written claims that schedule rises as the cube root of effort involved. That's what I was trying to say sounded highly dubious.
Jan
28
comment Is the algorithm more important than the programming language?
The point is not that your particular favorite language was or was not represented in one particular experiment. The point is that language MATTERS. There have been a LOT of anecdotal studies, that show this pretty conclusively. It is also worth noting that, despite being mostly rejected by American programmers, Ada is still heavily used in Europe, especially for high-reliability systems, and it is still used in certain fielded systems in the US.
Jan
22
comment Using a license without a year value
@BartvanIngenSchenau, I have never seen a commercial copyright notice on any code anywhere that did not include the phrase "All Rights Reserved". I expect that this is because there was a nasty lawsuit somewhere, that turned on the presence or absence of that phrase.
Jan
21
comment Using a license without a year value
As a general rule, you should, in the United States at least, add the phrase "All rights reserved" after the owner's name(s). AFTER THAT, you can start granting licensing permissions.
Jan
11
comment What can qualify for potential tail call recursion (TCO) optimization or tail recursion elimination (TRE)
Short answer: Read the various "Lambda: The Ultimate" papers from the MIT AI Lab. They go into a great deal of detail on, among other things, tail recursion and tail call elimination.
Jan
9
comment Why are statements in many programming languages terminated by semicolons?
@kevincline: While I'm thinking about it, a few years later: Texas Instruments DSEG (now part of Raytheon) had a group that did 6DOF simulation. Traditionally, 6DOF sims were written in FORTRAN. About the time I joined TI DSEG, they decided to try writing our project's sim in PASCAL, to see how bad the performance hit was. Their report: They took a few percent hit, but the readability and maintainability improvement was so dramatic that they were NEVER going back to FORTRAN for sims.
Dec
9
comment Which programming language (or machine language) first used line numbers?
Columns 1..5 were for statement labels, which had to be numbers. Columns 73..80 were for card sequence numbers. If you were unfortunate enough to drop your card deck, having sequence numbers on all of the cards meant that you could run your deck through a card sorter and get it back into the correct order.
Dec
8
comment Which are the alternatives to using a stack to represent function call semantics?
I should add that the PDP-8 JMS xxx (JuMp to Subroutine at xxx) instruction stored the return address at address xxx and jumped to xxx+1. To return, the programmer coded an indirect jump through location xxx. Same basic idea as the 6600, no stack.
Nov
23
comment Optimization: How much time saved is considered worth it?
It Depends On What You Are Doing. If you are doing the typical random web page garbage, no, it probably doesn't matter if it takes one second or two. If you are doing real-time image processing, where you have megapixel frames of video coming at you 30 or 60 times every second, you better believe accessing the DRAM in the correct order makes a difference.
Nov
22
comment Private variables and the old FORTRAN common blocks
Recognize that, first, C++ was required to maintain backwards compatibility with C, and, second, C++ had to look ATTRACTIVE to the flying code monkeys who collectively believe that C is a good language, while simultaneously dragging them kicking and screaming into the light. Stroustrup's first goal for C++ was adding strong typing to C, the feature that caused the flying code monkeys to scream from the rooftops when they encountered it in PASCAL and Ada. His SECOND goal was to port the Simula-67 class concept, which became OOP.
Nov
13
comment Designing a programming language, seeking simple and logical parameter behavior
It might help you to read programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/153474/…
Nov
12
comment How big should be an input array to unit test a method with a loop?
PRECISELY. It simplifies the BLEEP out of the testing problem. This is why they taught you about subroutines in first-semester programming class!
Nov
12
comment How big should be an input array to unit test a method with a loop?
I should mention in passing that doing it this way, with the decomposition explicit in the code, can get you in hot water with your management if your coworkers have never been exposed to "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs". Been there, done that, got the scars, had to write a full page of comments explaining the basics of continuation-passing style.
Nov
10
comment Using compound statements (“{” … “}” blocks) to enforce variable locality
Actually, I do use this technique, on a fairly routine basis, for precisely the reasons you state.
Nov
9
comment Programming language features that help to catch bugs early
See previous remark about "running with subscript checking enabled during checkout, and disabling it for production." You want the assert() ENABLED during production: THAT'S WHEN IT IS IMPORTANT!!!
Oct
20
comment How to write a very basic compiler
Mandatory declaration before use dates back to ALGOL. Tony Hoare got his ears pinned back by the ALGOL committee when he tried to suggest adding default type rules, similar to what FORTRAN had. They already knew about the problems this could create, with typographical errors in names and default rules creating interesting bugs.
Oct
20
comment How to write a very basic compiler
PASCAL was specifically designed with one-pass compilation and linking in mind. Wirth's compiler book mentions multipass compilers, and adds that he knew of a PL/I compiler that took 70 (yes, seventy) passes.
Oct
7
comment Modifying a GNU LGPL v 2.1 code and license
@BasileStarynkevitch, your comment really deserves to be made into an answer.
Oct
1
comment Why do programming languages allow shadowing/hiding of variables and functions?
@dylnmc, there's no hurry. We're only coming up on the movie's 50th birthday. It could be worse. We're less than 3 years away from the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon, which really ought to be celebrated by people ON the moon. (What's really bad is that we're about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the departure from the lunar surface of the LAST men to walk on the moon, and that is an anniversary that in my opinion should NEVER be allowed to happen.)