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3
votes
1answer
75 views

What is the point of delimiters and whitespace handling

I see that language specifies reserved words, delimiters and whitespaces in the lexer section. Are delimiters just like reserved identifiers in the punctuation space or they have additioinal function ...
6
votes
2answers
99 views

Why are strings immutable in some languages?

String is an immutable class in Java. An immutable class is simply a class whose instances cannot be modified. Why does the Java programming language choose to make objects of class String immutable? ...
5
votes
3answers
150 views

How did it happen that Algol 60 was an improvement on its successors?

The original statement referred to by this question is: The more I ponder the principles of language design, and the techniques which put them into practice, the more is my amazement and ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

Why would you introduce the goto statement into a modern language?

I just found out something really quite extraordinary. While looking through Stackoverflow, I came across a question about removing goto from a php function. PHP ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

procedures and immutable data to simulate return values

Let's say I have a programming language that allows procedures, i.e., methods without return values, and immutable data-structures, so no sideeffecting inside a procedure. Is it possible to simulate a ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

What is the rationale behind implicitly widening integer types in numeric operations?

Languages such as Java and C specify implicit widening of integer types for numeric operators, especially arithmetic operators, to a minimum of 32 bits. What is the rationale behind doing this? My ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Recursive macros and termination of assembler

A debate has arisen in the course of using an assembler (which does a bit of preprocessing first, but is mainly a static assembler): This particular assembler allows recursive macros to be defined, ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

How do global variables and automatic variables with the same name interact?

Suppose I define a global variable and I define an automatic variable within a function definition with the same name as the aforementioned global variable. What would happen to the global variable ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Top-down typing strategy - is there a name for this?

In most statically typed languages, each expression has an intrinsic type. E.g. in Java, 3 is an int, 3.0 is a double, ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

Can a language be Turing Complete if its only provision for unlimited code/memory is through recursion?

We've developed an esoteric language. In this language, a program contains a static amount of code, and a static amount of storage space. However, parts of the program can recurse, so the interpreter ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Terminology - the reason for symbol reuse in programming languages

What is the term in programming language creation that is the rationale for symbol reuse? Though potentially confused with overloading, it is not so much the application of symbol reuse, but the ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Variable argument placement in methods

Imagine that we have a base class number that has implemented a integer and floats, but not complex numbers and that we would like to extend it to also support ...
0
votes
0answers
79 views

How to generate intermediate code in more than 1 pass in compiler design?

I'm taking a compiler-design class where we have to implement our own compiler (using flex and bison). In dragon book by V.Aho et al. They have mentioned backpatching to backpatch forward references ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

How to bridge theory and implementation for while loops?

I'm working on my own little programming language for educational purposes, and I've run into a little bit of a problem. There are a few different solutions for it, but all of them seem inelegant - ...
11
votes
5answers
499 views

Why is the object destructor paradigm in garbage collected languages pervasively absent?

Looking for insight into decisions around garbage collected language design. Perhaps a language expert could enlighten me? I come from a C++ background, so this area is baffling to me. It seems ...
2
votes
4answers
143 views

Why isn't there a .= operator? (or ->= etc)

Considering how often we do: ...