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Samurai_Crow 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 4-Apr-2019 6:12:41
#61 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Jan-2003
Posts: 2127
From: Ft. Collins, Colorado, USA

@hth313

In other words: Only use C as a backend for a higher level language.

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Snorg 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 4-Apr-2019 7:06:21
#62 ]
Member
Joined: 1-Feb-2018
Posts: 88
From: Unknown

@Samurai_Crow

Just to be a contrarian, I suppose:

When creating a static-link library or a dynamic shared object (for a non-C++ client), I prefer to implement the logic in C++ - with re-usable portions maintained in a common-code repository - but I create stubs and headers for C, by which the library's (opaque) types and functions are exposed. That said, in such cases I restrict dependencies to an absolute minimum.

For C++ projects, I use a class factory pattern instead.

Last edited by Snorg on 04-Apr-2019 at 09:41 AM.

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bison 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 4-Apr-2019 17:01:16
#63 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1366
From: N-Space

@hth313

Quote:
Proper constants is probably also a good idea.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. C has 'const', which is kind of a misnomer, since they are really read-only variables, and it has pre-processor defines, which to the compiler are just literals, so my guess is that you are referring to named constants that have name/type information in the symbol table, but then again... you might mean something completely different.

Quote:
However, there is no need to change the preprocessor, just because it can be abused we should not do it, instead we should provide better alternatives ways.

We can't change C; it's too late for that. But I don't think it would be a good idea to replicate the C pre-processor in a new language.

I refactor and port a lot of C code, and the biggest thing I run into are bad abstractions in/with header files -- people tend to not know what should go in there and what shouldn't. It's a lot of work to get that all untangled and sorted out without breaking anything. This is especially a problem when someone defines storage in a header file, which ends up getting redefined somewhere else, and the linker can't figure out which instance to use.

I would like to have a C-like language where all objects have internal linkage by default, and anything that requires external linkage is marked with a keyword such as 'public'. Such a language could still use header files, but they would be generated by the compiler.

Last edited by bison on 04-Apr-2019 at 05:11 PM.

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bison 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 4-Apr-2019 17:05:22
#64 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1366
From: N-Space

@Samurai_Crow

Quote:
In other words: Only use C as a backend for a higher level language.

This is actually a really good idea. I experiment with language design, but I don't have the necessary knowledge or skills to design and implement the back-end of a compiler, so I write source-to-source compilers that output C, which I then compile with gcc or clang.

Last edited by bison on 04-Apr-2019 at 05:07 PM.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 4-Apr-2019 18:08:36
#65 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11092
From: Norway

@cdimauro

Quote:
Processing n-times includes actually INCREASES the compile time.


I don't disagree with that, but it allows you to also split up your project, and only compile parts of it, as the .o files can be compiled only if .cpp or .h file is changed if the makefile is correctly setup.

Let's say you have 10 .cpp files, and you changed two .cpp files, you only compile two .cpp files not 10, this cuts down compile time a lot. (Just don't change structs/classes inside .h files as then you might need to recompile everything, that is what "make clean" is for.)

However, I agree that pascal / Delphi has many advantages, but it is just a different beast.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 4-Apr-2019 18:11:20
#66 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11092
From: Norway

@bison

Quote:
so I write source-to-source compilers that output C, which I then compile with gcc or clang.


And thats saves you from learning 10 different machine code languages.

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bison 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 4-Apr-2019 21:50:33
#67 ]
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Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1366
From: N-Space

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
And thats saves you from learning 10 different machine code languages.

That's 9 more than I know right now.

I used to know a bit of 68000 and MIPS, but those have kind of slipped away from me.

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hth313 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 5-Apr-2019 4:37:28
#68 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 29-May-2018
Posts: 152
From: Delta, Canada

Quote:

bison wrote:
Quote:
Proper constants is probably also a good idea.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. C has 'const', which is kind of a misnomer, since they are really read-only variables, and it has pre-processor defines, which to the compiler are just literals, so my guess is that you are referring to named constants that have name/type information in the symbol table, but then again... you might mean something completely different.


No, you nailed it.

With proper constants I mean variables that looks like real variables in the source, are recognized as such by the debugger, but do not take up any storage space unless one takes the address of it. C almost allows for this, but there are a couple of problems. The constant has to be placed in a header which gives multiple definitions to the linker, unless the compiler is instruction somehow to generate weak definitions. Even having this, people cannot trust that such mechanism always exist (the code is to be portable) and resort to #defines. I am not sure about how well debuggers of today deal with defines and are able to know about them and treat it nicely. The C preprocessor has always been a kludge in this regard as it textually alters the program without understanding a thing about what is going on.

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cdimauro 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 10-Apr-2019 20:36:49
#69 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 2088
From: Germany

@Trekiej Quote:
Trekiej wrote:
Pseudo Code: The Language of the Ancients


Python: executable pseudo-code. The Language of Wisemen.


@hth313 Quote:
hth313 wrote:
@bison
@cdimauro

I do not entirely agree...

C is a low level language, much like a processor independent assembler and we all know about macro assemblers.

They are not ideal, but it is a pragmatic way of getting a lot of strange and messy things done in a fairly standardized way.

What should be done is to improve the language to avoid certain dangerous overuse, most well known is the small functions expansions inline. This should be done using an optimizer that inlines ordinary code, which gcc at least seems to allow for. Proper constants is probably also a good idea. However, there is no need to change the preprocessor, just because it can be abused we should not do it, instead we should provide better alternatives ways.

The problem is that the preprocessor was added to C to avoid implementing better, higher-level, constructs.

Some were introduced from time to time (consts & enums), some were introduced in C++ (namespaces to avoid using macros to add prefixes or suffixes to symbol names, in order to minimize identifiers clashes. Inline).

Some are still missing (no module concept).

@hth313 Quote:
hth313 wrote:
Quote:

bison wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean by that. C has 'const', which is kind of a misnomer, since they are really read-only variables, and it has pre-processor defines, which to the compiler are just literals, so my guess is that you are referring to named constants that have name/type information in the symbol table, but then again... you might mean something completely different.


No, you nailed it.

With proper constants I mean variables that looks like real variables in the source, are recognized as such by the debugger, but do not take up any storage space unless one takes the address of it. C almost allows for this, but there are a couple of problems. The constant has to be placed in a header which gives multiple definitions to the linker, unless the compiler is instruction somehow to generate weak definitions. Even having this, people cannot trust that such mechanism always exist (the code is to be portable) and resort to #defines. I am not sure about how well debuggers of today deal with defines and are able to know about them and treat it nicely. The C preprocessor has always been a kludge in this regard as it textually alters the program without understanding a thing about what is going on.

Exactly.

@NutsAboutAmiga Quote:
NutsAboutAmiga wrote:
@cdimauro

Quote:
Processing n-times includes actually INCREASES the compile time.


I don't disagree with that, but it allows you to also split up your project, and only compile parts of it, as the .o files can be compiled only if .cpp or .h file is changed if the makefile is correctly setup.

Let's say you have 10 .cpp files, and you changed two .cpp files, you only compile two .cpp files not 10, this cuts down compile time a lot. (Just don't change structs/classes inside .h files as then you might need to recompile everything, that is what "make clean" is for.)

This already happens with other languages as well.

However even compiling a single file which changed, they don't require to re-parse again all include files which are used inside it: they just import the symbol table from the compiled code.
Quote:
However, I agree that pascal / Delphi has many advantages, but it is just a different beast.

Exactly: a beautiful beast with some clean and nice solutions for the problems which we discussed.

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bison 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 11-Apr-2019 4:42:01
#70 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1366
From: N-Space

@cdimauro

Quote:
Some were introduced from time to time (consts & enums),

I've never been very happy with either construct in C. I think the standardization committee pulled the trigger too soon -- they should have studied the problem longer instead of just adopting extensions that compiler writers at the time were adding to the language.

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pgf_666 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 11-Apr-2019 20:37:01
#71 ]
Member
Joined: 29-Dec-2007
Posts: 30
From: Unknown

@Everyone

I vote for a cleaned-up, debugged,extended (Add the equivalent of Structs, Matrix operations, a few extra system constants [Pi, InToCm, that kind of thing] and multitaking (including setting Priorities), and of course, as used in GWBASIC, Shell(). And any others you can think of....)

And, of course, a much improved editor--to go with a much improved programer!

Oh, I may just be prejudiced, I've got about a gig 1/2 of legacy BASIC code floating around.....

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Samurai_Crow 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 12-Apr-2019 19:01:21
#72 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Jan-2003
Posts: 2127
From: Ft. Collins, Colorado, USA

@pgf_666

You forgot to mention which dialect of BASIC you want updated. I know how to implement BASIC as a pass-and-a-half transpiler using C as a backend. I was considering doing one based on AMOS Kittens.

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bison 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 12-Apr-2019 19:16:43
#73 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1366
From: N-Space

@hth313

Quote:
With proper constants I mean variables that looks like real variables in the source, are recognized as such by the debugger, but do not take up any storage space unless one takes the address of it.

In what scenario would you take the address of a constant? There may be one, I just can't think of it.

Quote:
C almost allows for this, but there are a couple of problems. The constant has to be placed in a header which gives multiple definitions to the linker, unless the compiler is instruction somehow to generate weak definitions. Even having this, people cannot trust that such mechanism always exist (the code is to be portable) and resort to #defines.

This works with gcc; I haven't tried other compilers.

bison@home ~/source/const $ cat foo.c
const int Foo = 42;

bison@home ~/source/const $ cat foo.h
extern const int Foo;

bison@home ~/source/const $ cat const.c
#include <stdio.h>
#include "foo.h"

int main()
{
  printf("%d\n", Foo);
  return 0;
}

bison@home ~/source/const $ cat Makefile
CC = gcc
CFLAGS = -std=c89 -Wall -Wextra -pedantic

const: foo.o
$(CC) $(CFLAGS) -o const const.c foo.o

foo.o:
$(CC) $(CFLAGS) -c foo.c

bison@home ~/source/const $ gcc --version
gcc (Ubuntu 7.3.0-27ubuntu1~18.04) 7.3.0
[snip]

bison@home ~/source/const $ make
gcc -std=c89 -Wall -Wextra -pedantic -c foo.c
gcc -std=c89 -Wall -Wextra -pedantic -o const const.c foo.o

bison@home ~/source/const $ ./const
42

To be continued... (I want to press the "Submit" button before the whole thing blows up.)

---

So it seems that one can declare a const-qualified variable in a header without initializing it, so long as the definition is initialized elsewhere, which means that it will not be instantiated when the header is included in a source file. Either I didn't know this, or else I knew it and forgot.

Last edited by bison on 12-Apr-2019 at 07:49 PM.
Last edited by bison on 12-Apr-2019 at 07:26 PM.

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bison 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 12-Apr-2019 19:33:20
#74 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1366
From: N-Space

@hth313

This post is a continuation of the previous post, which can no longer be edited due to bugs in the forum software. (I don't think it likes certain HTML escape sequences.)

Quote:
With proper constants I mean variables that looks like real variables in the source, are recognized as such by the debugger, but do not take up any storage space unless one takes the address of it. C almost allows for this, but there are a couple of problems.

The thing I don't like about C const variables is that they can't be used as case labels, since they (const variables) are not really "constant constants."

Last edited by bison on 12-Apr-2019 at 07:34 PM.

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bison 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 12-Apr-2019 19:46:30
#75 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1366
From: N-Space

Duplicate post.

Last edited by bison on 12-Apr-2019 at 07:49 PM.

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hth313 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 12-Apr-2019 20:41:29
#76 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 29-May-2018
Posts: 152
From: Delta, Canada

@bison

A constant is like a variable, so someone might want to pass it by pointer to a function or similar. It is nothing strange language-wise, though perhaps not so common thing to do.

Yes, you can put a constant in a header with extern and no initializer, but then all files except the one that defines it knows the value of the constant, so it cannot be treated as a value everywhere and needs to be loaded from memory, taking up memory space.

Good point about the case constants. Maybe it is fixable if "proper" constants were accepted in the language. Enum types can be an alternative in this case.

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bison 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 16-Apr-2019 16:39:30
#77 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1366
From: N-Space

@hth313

Quote:
I am not sure about how well debuggers of today deal with defines and are able to know about them and treat it nicely.

I always assumed that it was not possible to print defined constants in a debugger, since by the time the compiler reads the source the defines have all been replaced, but as it turns out, gcc will insert debugging symbols for defines if the debug level is set to 3.

bison@home ~/source/print-defines-in-gdb $ cat test.c
#define FOO 42

int main()
{
return 0;
}

bison@home ~/source/print-defines-in-gdb $ cat Makefile
CC = gcc
CFLAGS = -std=c89 -Wall -Wextra -pedantic -g3

test:
$(CC) $(CFLAGS) -o test test.c

bison@home ~/source/print-defines-in-gdb $ make
gcc -std=c89 -Wall -Wextra -pedantic -g3 -o test test.c

bison@home ~/source/print-defines-in-gdb $ gdb test
GNU gdb (Ubuntu 8.1-0ubuntu3) 8.1.0.20180409-git

[snip]

Reading symbols from test...done.
(gdb) break 1
Breakpoint 1 at 0x5fe: file test.c, line 1.
(gdb) run
Starting program: /home/bison/source/print-defines-in-gdb/test

Breakpoint 1, main () at test.c:5
5 return 0;
(gdb) print FOO
$1 = 42
(gdb)

Last edited by bison on 16-Apr-2019 at 04:47 PM.
Last edited by bison on 16-Apr-2019 at 04:43 PM.

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Trekiej 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 24-May-2019 1:57:20
#78 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 17-Oct-2006
Posts: 684
From: Unknown

@thread
Does anyone here like Julia programming?

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Amigo1 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 24-May-2019 12:30:15
#79 ]
Super Member
Joined: 24-Jun-2004
Posts: 1499
From: Cork Ireland

@Trekiej

Julia is my girlfriend, I programmed her. She already does what I want.

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bison 
Re: Computer Programming Languages
Posted on 24-May-2019 18:14:19
#80 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1366
From: N-Space

@Trekiej

Never tried it, but the fact that it's homoiconic (code == data) is interesting.

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