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Nov
11
comment What are the practical implications of homotopy type theory in programming?
HoTT seems to be very exciting research into the foundations of mathematics, but if its predecessor/contender (set theory, specifically ZFC) is any indication, the foundation of mathematics has little implications even for most working mathematicians, let alone laymen.
Nov
10
comment Is there any mechanism to make programming language more stable(compatible) for changes?
More stable means to me fewer changes happening (hopefully because they aren't necessary), the exact opposite of backwards-incompatible changes. Which are you interested in, or are you asking about both semi-independently?
Nov
10
comment Reference counting & GC in LISP
There are weak references available in most refcounting implementations.
Nov
10
comment Reference counting & GC in LISP
@amon Pure refcounting is undesirable because of the easy memory leaks. Once you add a cycle GC, however, RAII becomes much less attractive in my mind: Cycles are no longer bugs, so other code with references to your objects would be justified to not deal with cycles of their own, but those cycles keep your objects alive, so prompt object destruction goes down the drain. Also, most optimizations of ref counting break the "prompt destruction" property too (cf. A Unified Theory Of Garbage Collection by David Bacon et al.)
Nov
10
comment What advantages are there to using Flex/Bison over just writing a compiler straight in a programming language?
@gnat I... think I see your thought process but it doesn't make sense to me. "Try this instead" belongs into an answer saying "don't do that", but for this question the "don't do that answer" would be "Use parser generators because [...]", not "Use parser generator X". Recommendation questions are verboten for a reason (chiefly: lots of very poor answers and being primarily opinion-based); I don't see the danger of either for this question. I may reconsider if further answers go badly, or if more people vote to close. For the time being, I ask you to be less literal-minded.
Nov
10
comment What advantages are there to using Flex/Bison over just writing a compiler straight in a programming language?
@gnat How about you give some reasons for why it seems like that to you? I appreciate that you so often dig up the formal reason why a obviously bad question really is bad, but here you seem overzealous. See also: The fact that the existing answer doesn't even mention any specifics of any particular product.
Nov
10
comment What advantages are there to using Flex/Bison over just writing a compiler straight in a programming language?
@gnat Where do you see a query for software recommendation? OP asks what advantages a specific tool has, compared to not using it. OP doesn't ask "I want to write a compiler, which parser generator (if any) should I use?"
Nov
10
comment Is it imaginable to teach a machine how to program itself to a defined specification?
@florian Don't get hung up on "so you want to". If your question is whether a program can take a vague natural-language spec, make sense of it, ask for clarification and then create a program, then "that'd be strong AI, and as you now strong AI isn't a thing". If your question is different, please clarify it.
Nov
9
comment Is it imaginable to teach a machine how to program itself to a defined specification?
@florian So you want the program to do the spec-interpreting task human programmers perform? Then it becomes the age-old problem of "strong AI", which numerous intelligent people have researched for decades without any progress to show for it. There's a heated philosophical debate whether AI is even metaphysically possible, much less practically possible in the far future, and in my experience nobody but snakeoil salesmen predicts strong AI in the near future.
Nov
9
comment Assembly vs. algorithmic languages (like C, Algol, etc)
@MichaelT Turing equivalence is about computability. In algorithm textbooks, we are also interested in complexity, which depends on the model of computation. Algol-style performance and machine code performance usually are within constant factors of each other. But not merely because both are Turing complete.
Nov
9
comment Coding style issue: Should we have functions which take a parameter, modify it, and then RETURN that parameter?
That doesn't sound right. Most likely predictPrice shouldn't directly fiddle with Item's members, but what is wrong with calling methods of Item that do so? If that is the only object being modified, maybe you can make an argument that it should be a method of the object being modified, but other times multiple objects (which definitely shouldn't be of the same class) are being modified, especially in rather high-level methods.
Nov
9
comment Does multiple Bloom filters make sense?
The false positive rate of a single bloom filter can already be changed through the hash functions and bits. What advantage do you hope to get from making a second bloom filter rather than pouring those resources (additional hash functions, more bits) into the existing bloom filter?
Nov
9
revised Who is to blame for this range based for over a reference to temporary?
added 59 characters in body
Nov
9
revised Who is to blame for this range based for over a reference to temporary?
added 668 characters in body
Nov
9
answered Who is to blame for this range based for over a reference to temporary?
Nov
6
comment Python: Why are int & list function parameters differently treated?
This is a duplicate of In Python, why can a function modify some arguments as perceived by the caller, but not others? and if this question was on Stack Overflow I would vote to close as such.
Nov
4
awarded  Yearling
Nov
4
comment Does any other language use the uniform initialization syntax found in c++?
@ThomasEding I know why C++11 uses that syntax. I was doubting the use of this question.
Nov
3
comment Does any other language use the uniform initialization syntax found in c++?
That specific syntax, braces and all? That seems awfully specific and useless. Any motivation, aside from curiosity?
Nov
2
comment Do any notable C extensions include integer types that are independent of machine word size
@RobertHarvey Sure it sounds bad, but unless you can point out such a way, you're not contributing anything by saying "nah you must be doing something wrong". The very question is how to avoid the integer promotion, or get around its effects!