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Questions tagged [programming-languages]

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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44 votes
5 answers
18k views

When does it make sense to compile my own language to C code first?

When designing an own programming language, when does it make sense to write a converter that takes the source code and converts it to C or C++ code so that I can use an existing compiler like gcc to ...
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93 votes
108 answers
240k views

Do people in non-English-speaking countries code in English? [closed]

I've heard it said (by coworkers) that everyone "codes in English" regardless of where they're from. I find that difficult to believe, however I wouldn't be surprised if, for most programming ...
31 votes
7 answers
10k views

Interpreted vs Compiled: A useful distinction?

A lot of questions get asked here about interpreted vs compiled language implements. I'm wondering whether the distinction actually makes any sense. (Actually the questions are usually about languages,...
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425 votes
33 answers
311k views

How do I create my own programming language and a compiler for it [closed]

I am thorough with programming and have come across languages including BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, LISP, LOGO, Java, C++, C, MATLAB, Mathematica, Python, Ruby, Perl, JavaScript, Assembly and so on. I can'...
162 votes
26 answers
25k views

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

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 ...
110 votes
14 answers
84k views

How can I really master a programming language?

I know that learning a language, you can simply buy a book, follow the examples, and whenever possible try the exercises. But what I'm really looking is how to master the language once you've learned ...
58 votes
15 answers
90k views

I don't know C. And why should I learn it? [closed]

My first programming language was PHP (gasp). After that I started working with JavaScript. I've recently done work in C#. I've never once looked at low or mid level languages like C. The general ...
31 votes
9 answers
8k views

Why are self-hosting compilers considered a rite of passage for new languages?

I've heard in a number of places now that people expect languages to use, or at least have, a self-hosting compiler in order to deserve respect. I'm curious as to why this is. A compiler seems like a ...
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168 votes
19 answers
199k views

Is there any reason to use C++ instead of C, Perl, Python, etc.? [closed]

As a Linux (server side) developer, I don't know where and why should I use C++. When I'm going for performance, the first and last choice is C. When "performance" isn't the main issue, programming ...
78 votes
6 answers
15k views

Why does the type go after the variable name in modern programming languages?

Why is it that in nearly all modern programming languages (Go, Rust, Kotlin, Swift, Scala, Nim, even Python last version) types always come after the variable name in the variable declaration, and not ...
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17 votes
19 answers
69k views

Ideal programming language learning sequence? [closed]

What do you think? What is the ideal programming language learning sequence which will cover most of the heavily used languages and paradigms today as well as help to grasp common programming basics, ...
48 votes
4 answers
33k views

How could the first C++ compiler be written in C++?

Stroustrup claims that Cfront, the first C++ compiler, was written in C++ (Stroustrup FAQ). However, how is it even possible that the first C++ compiler be written in C++? The code that makes up the ...
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85 votes
11 answers
8k views

How can I make sure that I'm actually learning how to program rather than simply learning the details of a language? [closed]

I often hear that a real programmer can easily learn any language within a week. Languages are just tools for getting things done, I'm told. Programming is the ultimate skill that must be learned and ...
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79 votes
5 answers
10k views

Is there a correlation between the scale of the project and the strictness of the language?

Explaining the difference between strictness of languages and paradigms to a colleague of mine, I ended up asserting that: Tolerant languages, such as dynamic and interpreted languages, are used best ...
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9 votes
2 answers
3k views

How is it possible to write the compiler of a programming language with that language itself [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How could the first C++ compiler be written in C++? You probably heard that Microsoft released a new language called TypeScript which is a the typed superset of JavaScript. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Should naming conventions be consistent or not across multiple programming languages in one project? [duplicate]

I saw this question on SO: here; the question is kind of old and not many viewed, so I want to ask it again. I currently work on a project using C++, C# and Actionscript-3, the conventions of C++ and ...
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128 votes
8 answers
103k views

What is a "side effect?"

I haven’t clearly understood the concept of side effect. What is side effect in programming? Is it programming language dependent? Is there such a thing as external and internal side effects? Please ...
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95 votes
15 answers
52k 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 ...
82 votes
11 answers
33k 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, new instance of String created. What might be the reason of immutability ...
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146 votes
15 answers
30k views

Why did memory-managed languages like Java, Javascript, and C# retain the `new` keyword?

The new keyword in languages like Java, Javascript, and C# creates a new instance of a class. This syntax seems to have been inherited from C++, where new is used specifically to allocate a new ...
39 votes
8 answers
6k 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 ...
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54 votes
11 answers
12k views

Why does C++ have 'undefined behaviour' (UB) and other languages like C# or Java don't?

This Stack Overflow post lists a fairly comprehensive list of situations where the C/C++ language specification declares as to be 'undefined behaviour'. However, I want to understand why other modern ...
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14 votes
8 answers
20k views

Why does C dominate in the embedded software market? [closed]

Almost everyone will now say the blessing: performance! Okay, C does allow to write athletic code. But there are other languages that can do so, after all! And the optimising power of modern ...
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  • 1,146
13 votes
7 answers
5k 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 can ...
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  • 795
1 vote
2 answers
587 views

How to mix different styles of programming on several languages?

I know that Senior Developer doesn't use only one language and only one platform or IDE. Can you advise how to mix different styles of programming to make efficient code? For example, best mixing is ...
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100 votes
17 answers
27k views

(Why) Should I learn a new programming language? [closed]

I'm quite proficient with Java, C/C++, JavaScript/jQuery and decently good at Objective-C. I'm quite productive with the languages and their corresponding frameworks too and do produce enterprise ...
82 votes
5 answers
150k 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 the source code is processed by an interpreter at the point of ...
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100 votes
3 answers
49k views

Why do programming languages, especially C, use curly braces and not square ones?

The definition of "C-Style language" can practically be simplified down to "uses curly braces ({})." Why do we use that particular character (and why not something more reasonable, like [], which ...
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  • 4,190
30 votes
23 answers
18k views

What's a good Programming Metaphor? [closed]

I am referring to explaining to the non-programmer what programming is. I made sure to search for similar questions before creating this one, but the few ones I did find seemed to dodge the question, ...
20 votes
15 answers
5k views

What are bit operators good for? [closed]

Programming languages often come with various bit operators (e.g. bitwise left- and right shift, bitwise AND, OR, XOR...). These don't get used though very much, or at least such has my experience ...
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18 votes
5 answers
3k views

What makes JVM so much versatile to support so many JVM languages?

JVM supports so many languages other than Java like Groovy,Clojure,Scala etc which are functional languages unlike Java(I am referring to Java before Version 8 where Lambda's are not supported) that ...
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9 votes
6 answers
11k views

Is there any difference between interfaces and abstract classes that have abstract methods only?

Let's say we have an abstract class and let this class has only abstract methods. Is this abstract class different from an interface that has same methods only? What I am looking to know is if there ...
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  • 1,694
5 votes
1 answer
617 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 ...
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147 votes
24 answers
211k views

What are the drawbacks of Python? [closed]

Python seems all the rage these days, and not undeservingly - for it is truly a language with which one almost enjoys being given a new problem to solve. But, as a wise man once said (calling him a ...
46 votes
11 answers
390k views

For what reasons should I choose C# over Java and C++? [closed]

C# seems to be popular these days. I heard that syntactically it is almost the same as Java. Java and C++ have existed for a longer time. For what reasons should I choose C# over Java and C++?
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197 votes
10 answers
73k views

Is every language written in C?

Sometimes while programming in different languages (C/C++, C#), this thought comes to my mind: Is each and every language written in the C programming language? Is the C language the mother/father ...
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144 votes
9 answers
34k views

Is there any "real" reason multiple inheritance is hated?

I've always liked the idea of having multiple inheritance supported in a language. Most often though it's intentionally forgone, and the supposed "replacement" is interfaces. Interfaces simply do ...
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  • 3,045
135 votes
14 answers
21k views

Why are statements in many programming languages terminated by semicolons?

Is there a reason that a semi-colon was chosen as a line terminator instead of a different symbol? I want to know the history behind this decision, and hope the answers will lead to insights that may ...
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  • 1,333
66 votes
10 answers
41k views

At what point can I say I've "learned" a language?

In my few years of programming, I've toyed with everything from Ruby to C++. I've done everything from just learning basic syntax (Ruby) to completing several major (for me) projects that stretched ...
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  • 4,190
42 votes
7 answers
9k views

Functional Programming on the rise?

I have noticed lately that functional programming languages are gaining popularity. I recently saw how the Tiobe Index shows an increase in their popularity in comparison to the last year although ...
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  • 2,554
39 votes
8 answers
73k views

Learning Multiple Languages Simultaneously [closed]

When learning new languages, is it better to commit yourself to one language 100% and wait until you've "mastered" it to move on to another, or to work on learning different languages at the same time?...
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  • 3,146
72 votes
9 answers
33k views

How were the first compilers made?

I always wonder this, and perhaps I need a good history lesson on programming languages. But since most compilers nowadays are made in C, how were the very first compilers made (AKA before C) or were ...
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41 votes
18 answers
11k views

Does syntax really matter in a programming language? [closed]

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
14 answers
13k views

Why don't programming languages automatically manage the synchronous/asynchronous problem?

I have not found many resources about this: I was wondering if it's possible/a good idea to be able to write asynchronous code in a synchronous way. For example, here is some JavaScript code which ...
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  • 453
31 votes
14 answers
72k 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 ...
21 votes
9 answers
47k views

How is C different from C++?

Many people have said that C++ is a completely different language than C, but Bjarne himself has said that C++ is a language that is extended from C hence that is where the ++ comes from. So why does ...
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29 votes
16 answers
3k views

I'm writing about language syntax. 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> ...
22 votes
6 answers
3k views

How can I say that programming language compiles to other languages?

How can I say in english, that programming language can be compiled to other programming languages? The example can be Haxe. On the website the language is decribed as "Multiplatform": ...
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  • 669
32 votes
14 answers
17k 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 ...
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21 votes
7 answers
20k views

Is Java (still) the cross platform language of choice? [closed]

When I started using Java in the nineties, it was all "Write once, run anywhere!" from day one. That was probably all true then and I was a part of the choir as well. I am not sure what to think ...
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