Proposal: Programming Language Design

In this meta post "Should both language design and language implementation be on-topic?" @curiousdannii said:

Questions about implementing existing languages should be considered entirely off-topic.

However, since that meta post is mostly about another topic and it's not super clear what the voters are agreeing or disagreeing with, I'll post it here separately. What do people think? Are questions regarding the implementation of existing languages on topic?

3 Answers 3


Most new languages are variations of older ones

A while ago, I made a graph about how different programming languages have influenced each other, and in a lot of cases, were direct descendants of each other. The point of this is that a very large set of programming languages today are modifications of older ones (I'm looking at you C). So questions about such languages are bound to help designers and implementers of new languages.


New implementations (i.e. not forks) of existing languages are very rare, and have mostly the same concerns as implementing new languages. So I don't see it causing any problems.


Our site is about design AND implementation

Implementing languages takes just as much work and specialized knowledge as designing one, and they overlap considerably. There is no reason to disallow these questions, just like how Game Development allows questions about the implementation of games, not just game design.

Allowing implementation questions, but only for new languages, would be a very arbitrary and pointless restriction.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .