Proposal: Programming Language Design

Currently we've had multiple questions posted asking for recommendations of books, blogs, or other resources relating to our site's topic, including:

In the second of these, AviFS brings up that these questions are common and successful on Mathematics. I think there could be some value in allowing these sorts of questions (and I've seen books on, e.g., compiler design IRL, so it's not too niche of a topic for plenty of material to exist).

While questions asking for "good" books/blogs/resources about a topic are necessarily subjective, it's not really the kind of subjectivity that is harmful to question and answer quality, as can be seen on Math.

Should these be on-topic, and if so, should we have any rules surrounding them?

3 Answers 3


Those types of questions might work ... but are going to [likely] require a lot of curation/maintenance

Sure, you have blogs like The Old New Thing that's been going for years. Or Julia Evans' blog. And Dan Luu.

But you also have blogs that were great, then get retired, or link rot, etc

You also have questions like this one on SO that's been closed for years because it's a horrible question for the format of SO (and, generally, for the whole SE network)

  • More on-topic questions may be "What are some useful resources for implementing XYZ type system?" instead of general questions like the one you linked. Having some summary / explanation of the material in answers would also be of great help.
    – jado
    Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 15:19


There is precedent for these working and they could be useful for finding good sources of information in a somewhat niche subject.

There will be issues, as warren points out, but that's an issue for beta :p


No, but there can be a exception for a single CW post

As Warren noted these questions are a bad fit for the format. However, having just a single list of relavent resources as a CW post could be useful. This allows us to sort the resources in a logical way instead of by votes. Also, CW means anyone can remove any resources that have died due to link rot.

  • I don't think it'd be necessary to have it only be a single CW post. There's all sorts of different subcategories (books vs. blogs vs. podcasts, syntax vs. optimization vs. compiler design, etc.), which would make more sense as multiple questions/answers than one answer with a ton of sections. Commented Feb 6, 2023 at 17:18
  • 1
    Maybe a single question with one answer per category could work? I'm not 100% convinced of the exact specifics of the format
    – mousetail
    Commented Feb 6, 2023 at 17:18
  • Additionally, IMO a single big list isn't necessary. Being able to vote on resources independently seems sensible to me (and is much better for for SE's format). They could still be CW. Commented Feb 6, 2023 at 17:20
  • 2
    I do like the ability to vote on individual posts, but if there are pages and pages of random dead blogs it would become nearly impossible to find anything specific
    – mousetail
    Commented Feb 6, 2023 at 17:22

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