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Unanswered Questions

30 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
17 votes
0 answers

What impact do type sigils have on programmers?

Some languages, such as BASIC (STRING$), Perl ($scalar, @array, ...
13 votes
0 answers

Why were OS/360 PL/I procedure calls so expensive?

In Guy Steele’s famous paper Debunking the “expensive procedure call” myth or, procedure call implementations considered harmful or, LAMBDA: The Ultimate GOTO, he describes the poor performance of ...
11 votes
0 answers

Where does Go's datetime formatting pattern come from? And why was it chosen?

Go's time formatting strings are uniquely idiosyncratic, and I have not seen any other language use this sort of system: It is based on the exact timestamp for ...
10 votes
0 answers

What styles of interpreter are not well-supported by RPython?

The RPython toolchain translates interpreters to JIT compilers. The interpreter may be written in any style; the corresponding JIT compiler is defined by annotations on the main loops of the ...
9 votes
0 answers

How can a compiler optimise persistent data structures to use mutable data structures "under the hood"?

Consider for a motivating example a copy-on-write array, which implements a persistent (i.e. immutable) array data type. As an optimisation at runtime, a reference counter can be used to avoid the ...
9 votes
0 answers

How to detect changes to definitions and their impacts?

I'm implementing the Language Server Protocol (LSP) for my language, and I'm having huge problems tracking updated definitions. 1. How to determine which files have been changed? lsp can only monitor ...
8 votes
0 answers

What are some of the challenges in implementing, and disadvantages of having, dependent types in a programming language?

I know about some of the potential advantages and the desirable features of Agda/Coq/F*/Idris2, etc. But what about the other side of things? For example, there seems to have been talk for years about ...
8 votes
0 answers

How does GADTs as in Haskell-like languages compare to indexed families in dependent types?

In Haskell, GADTs are only indexed by types, while indexed families in DT are mainly indexed by terms. With the presence of without-K, it is hard to refute cases just by unifying type terms, while in ...
7 votes
0 answers

Why do using-directives in C++ work the way they do?

There's already a question on StackOverflow regarding this, but I feel like this platform is more appropriate for the question. Why is it that when a using-directive is used inside a scope in C++, ...
7 votes
0 answers

How to usefully implement trig (and other irrational functions) on rational primitives

Based on my limited experience, most languages that have rationals as their primary number type simply do not have built-ins for sin,...
6 votes
0 answers

What is the history of using dependent types to avoid array bound checks

Context For memory safe languages to be fast, array bounds should be checked during compilation. Some language like Java, Rust, Swift, and others eliminate array bounds checks when possible, but the ...
6 votes
0 answers

What was the first language to use backslashes as escape characters in string literals?

I assume that C didn't originate the idea that, for example, the sequence \t inside a string literal should mean a tab character, that ...
6 votes
1 answer

Optimization algorithm using conditional invariants

I am looking for an optimization algorithm that would make use of invariants in regions of code. For example if (n == 0) f(n); should be changed to ...
5 votes
0 answers

Why has there been little recent work on GPU compiler phase optimization?

While GPU compiler phase optimization has been shown to improve performance significantly (e.g., there has been very little follow-up ...
4 votes
0 answers

Prior art for concatenative array language?

I am probably lazy so I don't feel like thoroughly designing and implementing a new language. But maybe it already exists? Do any programming languages exist with the following traits? no need for ...

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