Concept of Programming Languages: Chapter 15

Book: Concept of Programming Languages

10th edition

Lecturer: Mr. Tri Djoko Wahjono, Ir. M.Sc


Review Question

2. What does a lambda expression specify?

  • The predicate function is often given as a lambda expression, which in ML is defined exactly like a function, except with the fn reserved word, instead of fun, and of course the lambda expression is nameless.

5. Explain why QUOTE is needed for a parameter that is a data list.

  • To avoid evaluating a parameter, it is first given as a parameter to the primitive function QUOTE, which simply returns it without change.

6. What is a simple list?

  • A list which membership of a given atom in a given list that does not include sublists.

7. What does the abbreviation REPL stand for?

  • REPL stand for read-evaluate-print loop.

11. What are the two forms of DEFINE?

  • The simplest form of DEFINE is one used to bind a name to the value of an expression. This form is: (DEFINE symbol expression). The general form of such a DEFINE is (DEFINE (function_name parameters) (expression) )

13. Why are CAR and CDR so named?

  • The names of the CAR and CDR functions are peculiar at best. The origin of these names lies in the first implementation of LISP, which was on an IBM 704 computer. The 704’s memory words had two fields, named decrement and address, that were used in various operand addressing strategies. Each of these fields could store a machine memory address. The 704 also included two machine instructions, also named CAR (contents of the address part of a register) and CDR (contents of the decrement part of a register), that extracted the associated fields. It was natural to use the two fields to store the two pointers of a list node so that a memory word could neatly store a node. Using these conventions, the CAR and CDR instructions of the 704 provided efficient list selectors. The names carried over into the primitives of all dialects of LISP.

18. What is tail recursion? Why is it important to define functions that use recursion to specify repetition to be tail recursive?

  • A function is tail recursive if its recursive call is the last operation in the function. This means that the return value of the recursive call is the return value of the nonrecursive call to the function. It is important to specify repetition to be tail recursive because it is more efficient(increase the efficiency).

19. Why were imperative features added to most dialects of LISP?

  • LISP began as a pure functional language but soon acquired some important imperative features to increased its execution efficiency.

26. What is type inferencing, as used in ML?

  • Type inference refers to the automatic deduction of the type of an expression in a programming language. If some, but not all, type annotations are already present it is referred to as type reconstruction.

29. What is a curried function?

  • Curried functions a function which a new functions can be constructed from them by partial evaluation.

30. What does partial evaluation mean?

  • Partial evaluation means that the function is evaluated with actual parameters for one or more of the leftmost formal parameters.

32. What is the use of the evaluation environment table?

  • A table called the evaluation environment stores the names of all implicitly and explicitly declared identifiers in a program, along with their types. This is like a run-time symbol table.

33. Explain the process of currying.

  • The process of currying replaces a function with more than one parameter with a function with one parameter that returns a function that takes the other parameters of the initial function.

Problem Set
8. How is the functional operator pipeline ( |> ) used in F#?

  • The pipeline operator is a binary operator that sends the value of its left operand, which is an expression, to the last parameter of the function call, which is the right operand. It is used to chain together function calls while flowing the data being processed to each call.

9. What does the following Scheme function do?

(define ( y s lis)
(( null? lis) ‘ () )
((equal? s (car lis)) lis)
(else (y s (cdr lis)))
y returns the given list with leading elements removed up to but not including the first occurrence of the first given parameter.

10.What does  the following Scheme function do?

(define ( x lis)
(( null? lis) 0 )
(( not(list? (car lis)))
((eq? (car lis) #f) (x (cdr lis)))
(else (+1 (x (cdr lis))))))
(else (+ (x (car lis))  (x (cdr lis))))
x returns the number of non-#f atoms in the given list


Concept of Programming Languages: Chapter 14

Book: Concept of Programming Languages

10th edition

Lecturer: Mr. Tri Djoko Wahjono, Ir. M.Sc


Review Question

1. Define exception, exception handler, raising an exception, disabling an exception, continuation, finalization, and built-in exception.

  • An exception is an unusual event that is detectable by either hardware or software and that may require special processing.
  • The special processing that may be required when an exception is detected is called exception handling. The processing is done by a code unit or segment called an exception handler. 
  • Program execution can simply terminate. We term this the question of control continuation after handler execution, or simply continuation.
  • The ability to specify such a computation is called finalization.
  • Built-in exceptions have a built-in meaning, it is generally inadvisable to use these to signal program-specific error conditions.  Instead we introduce a new exception using an exception declaration, and signal it using a raise expression when a run-time violation occurs.  

6 . What is exception propagation in Ada?

  • Exception propagation allows an exception raised in one program unit to be handled in some other unit in its dynamic or static ancestry. This allows a single exception handler to be used for any number of different program units. This reuse can result in significant savings in development cost, program size, and program complexity.

7. Where are unhandled exceptions propagated in Ada if raised in a subprogram? A block? A package body? A task?

  • When an exception is raised in a block, in either its declarations or executable statements, and the block has no handler for it, the exception is propagated to the next larger enclosing static scope, which is the code that “called” it. The point to which the exception is propagated is just after the end of the block in which it occurred, which is its “return” point. When an exception is raised in a package body and the package body has no handler for the exception, the exception is propagated to the declaration section of the unit containing the package declaration. If the package happens to be a library unit (which is separately compiled), the program is terminated.
  • If an exception occurs at the outermost level in a task body (not in a nested block) and the task contains a handler for the exception, that handler is executed and the task is marked as being completed. If the task does not have a handler for the exception, the task is simply marked as being completed; the exception is not propagated. The control mechanism of a task is too complex to lend itself to a reasonable and simple answer to the question of where its unhandled exceptions should be propagated.

9. What is the scope of exception handlers in Ada?

  • Exception handlers can be included in blocks or in the bodies of subprograms, packages, or tasks.

10. What are the four exceptions defined in the Standard package of Ada?

  • The four exception defined in the standard package of Ada are Constraint_Error, Program_Error, Storage_Error, Tasking_Error

11. What is the use of suppress pragma in Ada?

  • An Ada pragma is a directive to the compiler. Certain run-time checks that are parts of the built-in exceptions can be disabled in Ada programs by use of the Suppress pragma, the simple form of which is pragma Suppress(check_name). Where check_name is the name of a particular exception check. The Suppress pragma can appear only in declaration sections. When it appears, the specified check may be suspended in the associated block or program unit of which the declaration section is a part. Explicit raises are not affected by Suppress. Although it is not required, most Ada compilers implement the Suppress pragma.

13. Describe three problems with Ada’s exception handling.

  • There are several problems with Ada’s exception handling. One problem is the propagation model, which allows exceptions to be propagated to an outer scope in which the exception is not visible. Also, it is not always possible to determine the origin of propagated exceptions. Another problem is the inadequacy of exception handling for tasks. For example, a task that raises an exception but does not handle it simply dies. Finally, when support for object-oriented programming was added in Ada 95, its exception handling was not extended to deal with the new constructs. For example, when several objects of a class are created and used in a block and one of them propagates an exception, it is impossible to determine which one raised the exception.

14. What is the name of all C++ exception handlers?

  • Each catch function is an exception handler. A catch function can have only a single formal parameter, which is similar to a formal parameter in a function definition in C++, including the possibility of it being an ellipsis (. . .). A handler with an ellipsis formal parameter is the catch-all handler; it is enacted for any raised exception if no appropriate handler was found. The formal parameter also can be a naked type specifier, such as float, as in a function prototype. In such a case, the only purpose of the formal parameter is to make the handler uniquely identifiable. When information about the exception is to be passed to the handler, the formal parameter includes a variable name that is used for that purpose. Because the class of the parameter can be any user-defined class, the parameter can include as many data members as are necessary.

15. Which standard libraries define and throw the exception out_of_range in C++?

  • The exception out_of_range in C++ thrown by library container classes

16. Which standard libraries define and throw the exception overflow_error in C++?

  • The exception overflow_error in C++ thrown by math library functions

19. State the similarity between the exception handling mechanism in C++ and Ada

  • In some ways, the C++ exception-handling mechanism is similar to that of Ada. For example, un-handled exceptions in functions are propagated to the function’s caller.

20. State the differences between the exception handling mechanism in C++ and Ada

  • There are no predefined hardware-detectable exceptions that can be handled by the user, and exceptions are not named. Exceptions are connected to handlers through a parameter type in which the formal parameter may be omitted. The type of the formal parameter of a handler determines the condition under which it is called but may have nothing whatsoever to do with the nature of the raised exception.

30. In which version were assertions added to Java?

  • Assertions were added to Java in version 1.4.

31. What is the use of the assert statement?

  • The assert statement is used for defensive programming. A program may be written with many assert statements, which ensure that the program’s computation is on track to produce correct results.

32. What is event-driven programming?

  • Event-driven programming is a programming where parts of the program are executed at completely unpredictable times, often triggered by user interactions with the executing program.

33. What is the purpose of a Java JFrame?

  • The JFrame class defines the data and methods that are needed for frames. So, a class that uses a frame can be a subclass of JFrame. A JFrame has several layers, called panes.

34. What are the different forms of assert statement?

    There are two possible forms of the assert statement:

  • assert condition;
  • assert condition : expression;


Problem Set

1 . What mechanism did early programming languages provide to detect or attempt to deal with errors?

  • Early programming languages were designed and implemented in such a way that the user program could neither detect nor attempt to deal with such errors. In these languages, the occurrence of such an error simply causes the program to be terminated and control to be transferred to the operating system. The typical operating system reaction to a run-time error is to display a diagnostic message, which may be meaningful and therefore useful, or highly cryptic. After displaying the message, the program is terminated.

2. Describe the approach for the detection of subscript range errors used in C and Java.

  • Java compilers usually generate code to check the correctness of every subscript expression (they do not generate such code when it can be determined at compile time that a subscript expression cannot have an out-of-range value, for example, if the subscript is a literal). In C, subscript ranges are not checked because the cost of such checking was (and still is) not believed to be worth the benefit of detecting such errors. In some compilers for some languages, subscript range checking can be selected (if not turned on by default) or turned off (if it is on by default) as desired in the program or in the command that executes the compiler.

5. From a textbook on FORTRAN, determine how exception handling is done in FORTRAN programs.

  • For example, a Fortran “Read” statement can intercept inputerrors and end-of-file conditions, both of which are detected by the input device hardware. In both cases, the Read statement can specify the label of some statement in the user program that deals with the condition. In the case of the end-of-file, it is clear that the condition is not always considered an error. In most cases, it is nothing more than a signal that one kind of processing is completed and another kind must begin. In spite of the obvious difference between end-of-file and events that are always errors, such as a failed input process, Fortran handles both situations with the same mechanism.

6. In languages without exception-handling facilities, it is common to have most subprograms include an “error” parameter, which can be set to some value representing “OK” or some other value representing “error in procedure”. What advantage does a linguistic exception-handling facility like that of Ada have over this method?

  • There are several advantages of a linguistic mechanism for handling exceptions, such as that found in Ada, over simply using a flag error parameter in all subprograms. One advantage is that the code to test the flag after every call is eliminated. Such testing makes programs longer and harder to read. Another advantage is that exceptions can be propagated farther than one level of control in a uniform and implicit way. Finally, there is the advantage that all programs use a uniform method for dealing with unusual circumstances, leading to enhanced readability.

7. In a language without exception handling facilities, we could send an error-handling procedure as a parameter to each procedure that can detect errors that must be handled. What disadvantages are there to this method?

  • There are several disadvantages of sending error handling subprograms to other subprograms. One is that it may be necessary to send several error handlers to some subprograms, greatly complicating both the writing and execution of calls. Another is that there is no method of propagating exceptions, meaning that they must all be handled locally. This complicates exception handling, because it requires more attention to handling in more places.

Concept of Programming Languages: Chapter 13

Book: Concept of Programming Languages

10th edition

Lecturer: Mr. Tri Djoko Wahjono, Ir. M.Sc


Review Question

1. What are the three possible levels of concurrency in programs?

  • Instruction level (executing two or more machine instructions simultaneously)
  • Statement level (executing two or more high-level language statements simultaneously)
  • Unit level (executing two or more subprogram units simultaneously)

7. What is the difference between physical and logical concurrency?

  • Physical concurrency is several program units from the same program that literally execute simultaneously.
  • Logical concurrency is multiple processors providing actual concurrency, when in fact the actual execution of programs is taking place in interleaved fashion on a single processor.

8. What is the work of a scheduler?

  • Scheduler manages the sharing of processors among the tasks.

12. What is a heavyweight task? What is a lightweight task?

  • Heavyweight task executes in its own address space. Lightweight task all run in the same address space.

16. What is a task descriptor?

  • Task descriptor is a data structure that stores all of the relevant information about the execution state of a task.

18. What is the purpose of a task-ready queue?

  • The purpose of a task-ready queue is to be storage of tasks that are ready to run.

21. What is a binary semaphore? What is a counting semaphore?

  • Binary semaphore is a semaphore that requires only a binary-valued counter, like the one used to provide competition synchronization. A counting semaphore is a synchronization object that can have an arbitrarily large number of states.

30. What is purpose of an Ada terminate clause?

  • The purpose of an Ada terminate clause is to mark that the task is finished with its job but is not yet terminated.

34. What does the Java sleep method do?

  • Sleep method blocks the the thread.

35. What does the Java yield method do?

  • Yield method surrenders the processor voluntarily as a request from the running thread.

36. What does the Java join method do?

  • Java forces a method to delay its execution until the run method of another thread has completed its execution.

37. What does the Java interrupt method do?

  • Interrupt becomes one way to communicate to a thread that it should stop.

55. What is Concurrent ML?

  • Concurrent ML is an extension to ML that includes a fform of threads and a form of synchronous message passing to support concurrency.

56. What is the use of the spawn primitive of CML?

  • The use of Spawn primitive of CML is to create a thread.

57. What is the use of subprograms BeginInvoke and EndInvoke in F#?

  • The use of subprograms BeginInvoke and Endinvoke in F# is to call threads asynchronously.

58. What is the use of the DISTRIBUTE and ALIGN specification of HPC?

  • The use of DISTRIBUTE and ALIGN specification of HPC is to provide information to the compiler on machines that do not share memory, that is, each processor has its own memory.


Problem Set

1. Explain clearly why a race condition can create problems for a system.

  • Because two or more tasks are racing to use the shared resource and the behavior of the program depends on which task arrives first (and wins the race). The importance of competition synchronization should now be clear.

2. What are the different ways to handle deadlock?

  • Ignoring deadlock
  • Detection
  • Prevention
  • Avoidance

3. Busy waiting is a method whereby a task waits for a given event by continuously checking for that event to occur. What is the main problem with this approach?

  • Busy-waiting or spinning is a technique in which a process repeatedly checks to see if a condition is true, such as whether keyboard input or a lock is available. Spinning can also be used to generate an arbitrary time delay, a technique that was necessary on systems that lacked a method of waiting a specific length of time. Processor speeds vary greatly from computer to computer, especially as some processors are designed to dynamically adjust speed based on external factors, such as the load on the operating system. Busy waiting may loop forever and it may cause a computer freezing.

Concept of Programming Languages: Chapter 12

Book: Concept of Programming Languages

10th edition

Lecturer: Mr. Tri Djoko Wahjono, Ir. M.Sc


Review Questions

2. What are the problems associated with programming using abstract data types?

  • The features and capabilities of the existing type are not really understanding by the beginner
  • The type definitions are all independent and at the same level

4. What is message protocol?

  • Message protocol: The entire collection of methods of an object.

5. What is an overriding method?

  • Overriding method: A method that overrides the inherited method.

7. What is dynamic dispatch?

  • Dynamic dispatch: The third characteristic of object-oriented programming language which is a kind of polymorhphism provided by the dynamic binding of messages.

12. From where are Smalltalk objects allocated?

  • Smalltalk objects are allocated from the heap and are referenced through reference variables, which are implicitly dereferenced.

15. What kind of inheritance, single or multiple, does Smalltalk support?

  • Smalltalk supports single inheritance; it does not allow multiple inheritance.

19. How are C++ heap-allocated objects deallocated?

  • C++ heap-allocated objects are deallocated using destructor.

29. Does Objective-C support multiple inheritance?

  • No, it doesn’t. Objective-C is not support it. It supports the single inheritance only.

33. What is the purpose of an Objective-C category?

  • The purpose of an Objective-C category: to add certain functionalities to different classes and also to provide some of the benefits of multiple inheritance, without the naming collisions that could occur if modules did not require module names on their functions.

38. What is boxing?

  • Boxing is primitive values in Java 5.0+ which is implicitly coerced when they are put in object context. This coercion converts the primitive value to an object of the wrapper class of the primitive value’s type.

39. How are Java objects deallocated?

  • By implicitly calling a finalize method when the garbage collector is about to reclaim the storage occupied by the object.


Problem Set

3. Compare the inheritance of C++ and Java!

  • All classes inherit from the Object class directly or indirectly
  • If we create a class that doesn’t inherit from any class, then it automatically inherits from Object Class
  • Members of the grandparent class are not directly accessible
  • Protected members of a class “A” are accessible in other class “B” of same package, even if B doesn’t inherit from A
  • Java uses extends keyword for inheritance
  • We don’t have to remember those rules of inheritance which are combination of base class access specifier and inheritance specifier
  • Methods are virtual by default
  • Uses a separate keyword interface for interfaces and abstract keyword for abstract classes and abstract functions


  • Private members of base class are not accessible in derived class
  • Have the forest of classes. When we create a class that doesn’t inherit from anything, we create a new tree in forest
  • Support the multiple inheritance
  • Default constructor of parent class is automatically called, but if we want to call parametrized the constructor of a parent class, we must use Initalizer list
  • Use virtual keyword

5. Compare abstract class and interface in Java!

  • Abstract class is a class while interface is a interface, means by extending abstract class you can not extend another class because Java does not support multiple inheritance but you can implement multiple inheritance in Java.
  • You can not create non abstract method in interface, every method in interface is by default abstract, but you can create non abstract method in abstract class. Even a class which doesn’t contain any abstract method can be abstract by using abstract keyword.
  • The abstract class are slightly faster than interface because interface involves a search before calling any overridden method in Java
  • The interface are better suited for Type declaration and abstract class is more suited for code reuse and evolution perspective
  • When you add a new method in existing interface it breaks all its implementation and you need to provide an implementation in all clients which is not good. By using abstract class you can provide default implementation in super class

7. What is one programming situation where multiple inheritance has a significant disadvantage over interfaces?

  • A situation when there are two classes derived from a common parent and those two derived class has one child.

10. Explain one advantage of inheritance!

  • Provides a framework for the definition of hierarchies of related classes that can reflect the descendant relationship in the problem space.

12. Compare inheritance and nested classes in C++! Which of these supports an is-a relationship?

  • Inheritan is where one class (child class) inherits the members of another class (parent class).
  • Nested class is a class declared entirely within the body of another class or interface.

17. What are the different options for object destruction in Java?

  • There is no explicit deallocation operator.

Concept of Programming Languages: Chapter 11

Book: Concept of Programming Languages

10th edition

Lecturer: Mr. Tri Djoko Wahjono, Ir. M.Sc

Review Questions

1. What are the two kinds of abstraction in programming languages?

  • The two fundamental kinds of abstraction in contemporary programming languages are process abstraction and data abstraction.

2. Define abstract data type.

  • An abstract data type is a data structure that are representation of objects of the type is hidden from the program units that use the type, so the only direct operations possible on those objects are those provided in the type’s definition.

6 . Explain how information hiding is provided in Ada package.

  • Data type representations can appear in the package specification but be hidden from clients by putting them in the private clause of the package. The abstract type itself is defined to be private in the public part of the package specification. Private types have built-in operations for assignment and comparison for equality and inequality.

8. What is the difference between private and limited private types in Ada?

  • Limited private is more restricted form and objects of a type that is declared limited private have no built-in operations.

10 . What is the use of the Ada with clause?

  • The with clause makes the names defined in external packages Visible.

11. What is the use of Ada use clause?

  • The use clause eliminates the need for explicit qualification of the references to entities from the named package.

12. What is the fundamental difference between a C++ class and an Ada package?

  • Ada packages are more generalize encapsulations that can define any number of types.

15. What is the purpose of a C++ destructor?

  • Destructors are often used as a debugging aid, in which case they simply display or print the values of some or all of the object’s data members before those members are deallocated. The name of a destructor is the class’s name, preceded by a tilde (~).

16. What are the legal return types of a destructor?

  • Neither constructors nor destructors have return types, and neither use return statements. Both constructors and destructors can be explicitly called.

20. What is the use of limited private types?

  • An alternative to private types is a more restricted form: limited private types. Nonpointer limited private types are described in the private section of a package specification, as are nonpointer private types. The only syntactic difference is that limited private types are declared to be limited private in the visible part of the package specification. The semantic difference is that objects of a type that is declared limited private have no built-in operations. Such a type is useful when the usual predefined operations of assignment and comparison are not meaningful or useful. For example, assignment and comparison are rarely used for stacks.

21. What are initializers in Objective-C?

  • Initializers are constructors.

22. What is the use of @private and @public directives?

  • The use is to specify the access levels of the instance variables in a class definition.

27. Where are all java methods defined?

  • Methods in Java must be defined completely in a class.

30. What is a friend function? What is a friend class?

  • Friend functions have access to the private entities of the class where they are declared to be friends.Friend class is a class that can access the private entities of the class which has friend function in it.

37. What is the name of all Ruby constructors?

  • Constructors in Ruby are named initialize.

43. What is a C++ namespace, what is its purpose?


  • In general, a namespace is a container for a set of identifiers and allows the disambiguation of homonym identifiers residing in different namespaces. The purpose is to help programs manage the problem of global namespace.


Problem Set

4. What are the advantages of the nonpointer concept in Java?

  • Any task that would require arrays, structures, and pointers in C can be more easily and reliably performed by declaring objects and arrays of objects. Instead of complex pointer manipulation on array pointers, you access arrays by their arithmetic indices. The Java run-time system checks all array indexing to ensure indices are within the bounds of the array. You no longer have dangling pointers and trashing of memory because of incorrect pointers, because there are no pointers in Java.

8. What are the drawbacks of user-defined generic classes in Java 5.0?

  • There are some drawbacks to these user-defined generic classes. For one thing, they cannot store primitives. Second, the elements cannot be indexed. Elements must be added to user-defined generic collections with the add method. Next, we implement the generic stack example using an Array List. Note that the last element of an ArrayList is found using the size method, which returns the number of elements in the structure. Elements are deleted from the structure with the remove method. 

10. Which two conditions make data type “abstract”?

  • The representation of objects of the type is hidden from the program units that use the type, so the only direct operations possible on those objects are those provided in the type’s definition.
  • The declarations of the type and the protocols of the operations on objects of the type, which provide the type’s interface, are contained in a single syntactic unit. The type’s interface does not depend on the representation of the objects or the implementation of the operations. Also, other program units are allowed to create variables of the defined type.

9. What happens if the constructor is absent in Java and C++?

  • It will be made automatically by the built-up in.

10. Which two conditions make data type “abstract” ?

  • The representation, or definition, of the type and the operations are contained in a single syntactic unit
  • The representation of objects of the type is hidden from the program units that use the type, so only direct operations possible on those objects are those provided in the type’s definition

11. Why is the destructor of C# rarely used?

  • Although C# allows destructors to be defined, because it uses garbage collection for most of its heap objects, destructors are rarely used.

12. How are classes in Ruby made dynamic?

  • Classes in Ruby are dynamic in the sense that members can be added at any time. This is done by simply including additional class definitions that specify the new members. Moreover, even predefined classes of the language, such as String, can be extended.

13. Compare and contrast the data abstraction of Java and C++.

  • Java support for abstract data types is similar to that of C++. There are, however, a few important differences. All objects are allocated from the heap and accessed through reference variables. Methods in Java must be defined completely in a class. A method body must appear with its corresponding method
  • header. Therefore, a Java abstract data type is both declared and defined in a single syntactic unit. A Java compiler can inline any method that is not overridden. Definitions are hidden from clients by declaring them to be private. Rather than having private and public clauses in its class definitions, in Java access modifiers can be attached to method and variable definitions. If an instance variable or method does not have an access modifier, it has package access.

15. Give one capability that Java 5.0 provides which C# 2005 does not.

  • One capability that Java 5.0 provides that C# 2005 does not is wildcard classes.

Concept of Programming Languages: Chapter 10

Book: Concept of Programming Languages

10th edition

Lecturer: Mr. Tri Djoko Wahjono, Ir. M.Sc

Review Questions

2. Which of the caller or callee saves execution status information?

  • The last three actions of a call clearly must be done by the caller. Saving the execution status of the caller could be done by either

4 . What is a task of a linker?

  • When the linker is called for a main program, its first task is to find the files that contain the translated subprograms referenced in that program and load them into memory. Then, the linker must set the target addresses of all calls to those subprograms in the main program to the entry addresses of those subprograms. The same must be done for all calls to subprograms in the loaded subprograms and all calls to library subprograms.

5. What are the two reasons why implementing subprograms with stack-dynamic local variables is more difficult than implementing simple subprograms?

  • The compiler must generate code to cause the implicit allocation and deallocation of local variables.
  • Recursion adds the possibility of multiple simultaneous activations of a subprogram, which means that there can be more than one instance (incomplete execution) of a subprogram at a given time, with at least one call from outside the subprogram and one or more recursive calls. The number of activations is limited only by the memory size of the machine. Each activation requires its activation record instance.

11 . What is an EP, and what is it’s purpose?

  • EP is required to control the execution of a subprogram. Initially, the EP points at the base, or first address of the activation record instance of the main program. Therefore, the run-time system must ensure that it always points at the base of the activation record instance of the currently executing program unit. When a subprogram is called, the current EP is saved in the new activation record instance as the dynamic link.

15. Explain the two methods of implementing blocks.

  • Blocks can be implemented by using the static-chain process for implementing nested subprograms. Blocks are treated as parameterless subprograms that are always called from the same place in the program. Therefore, every block has an activation record. An instance of its activation record is created every time the block is executed.
  • Blocks can also be implemented in a different and somewhat simpler and more efficient way. The maximum amount of storage required for block variables at any time during the execution of a program can be statically determined, because blocks are entered and exited in strictly textual order. This amount of space can be allocated after the local variables in the activation record. Offsets for all block variables can be statically computed, so block variables can addressed exactly as if they were local variables.

17. Describe the shallow-access method of implementing dynamic scoping.

  • Shallow access is an alternative implementation method, not an alternative semantics. The semantics of deep access and shallow access are identical. In the shallow-access method, variables declared in subprograms are not stored in the activation records of those subprograms.the variable on top of the stack associated with that name, because the top one is the most recently created. When a subprogram terminates, the lifetimes of its local variables end, and the stacks for those variable names are popped. This method allows fast references to variables, but maintaining the stacks at the entrances and exits of subprograms is costly.


Problem Set

7. It is stated in this chapter that when nonlocal variables are accessed in a dynamic-scoped language using the dynamic chain, variable names must be stored in the activation records with the values. If this were actually done, every nonlocal access would require a sequence of costly string comparisons on names. Design an alternative to these string comparisons that would be faster.

  • One very simple alternative is to assign integer values to all variable names used in the program. Then the integer values could be used in the activation records, and the comparisons would be between integer values, which are much faster than string comparisons.

8. Pascal allows gotos with nonlocal targets. How could such statements be handled if static chains were used for nonlocal variable access? 

  • Finding the correct activation record instance of a nonlocal variable using static links is relatively straightforward. When a reference is made to nonlocal variable, the activation record instance containing the variable can be found by searching the static chain until a static ancestor activation record instance is found that contains the variable.

9. The static-chain method could be expanded slightly by using two static links in each activation record instance where the second points to the static grandparent activation record instance. How would this approach affect the time required for subprogram linkage and nonlocal references?

  • Including two static links would reduce the access time to nonlocals that are defined in scopes two steps away to be equal to that for nonlocals that are one step away. Overall, because most nonlocal references are relatively close, this could significantly increase the execution efficiency of many programs.

11. If a compiler uses the static chain approach to implementing blocks, which of the entries in the activation records for subprograms are needed in the activation records for blocks?

  • A static chain is a chain of static links that connect certain activation record instances in the stack. During the execution of a subprogram P, the static link of its activation record instance points to an activation record instance of P’s static parent program unit. That instance’s static link points in turn to P’s static grandparent program unit’s activation record instance, if there is one. So, the static chain connects all the static ancestors of an executing subprogram, in order of static parent first. This chain can obviously be used to implement the accesses to non local variables in static-scoped languages.



Concept of Programming Languages: Chapter 9

Book: Concept of Programming Languages

10th edition

Lecturer: Mr. Tri Djoko Wahjono, Ir. M.Sc

Review questions

1. What are the three general characteristics of subprograms?

  • Each subprogram has a single entry point, excluding co-routine.
  • The calling program is suspended during the execution of the called subprogram, which implies that there is only one subprogram in execution at any given time.
  • Control always returns to the caller when the subprogram execution terminates.

4. What are formal parameters? What are actual parameters?

  • The parameters in the subprogram header are called formal parameters.
  • Subprogram call statements must include the name of the subprogram and alist of parameters to be bound to the formal parameters of the subprogram. These parameters are called actual parameters.

5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of keyword parameters?

  • The advantage of keyword parameter is that they can appear in any order in the actual parameter list.
  • The disadvantage to keyword parameters is that the user of the subprogram must know the names of formal parameters.

6. What are the design issues for subprograms?

  • What parameter-passing method or methods are used?
  • Are the types of the actual parameters checked against the types of the formal parameters?
  • Are local variable statically or dynamically allocated?
  • Can subprogram definitions appear in other subprogram definitions?
  • If subprograms can be passed as parameters and subprograms can be nested, what is the referencing environment of a passed subprogram?
  • Can a subprogram be overloaded?
  • Can subprograms be generic?

7. What are the advantages and disadvantages of dynamic local variables?


  • They provide flexibility to the subprogram
  • The storage of local variables in an active subprogram can be shared with the local variables in all inactive subprograms.
  • They efficiently used when computer has small memory (Faster Access).


  • Cost of the time required to allocate
  • Access to dynamic local variable must be indirect
  • The stack dynamic local variables, subprograms cannot be history sensitive

9. What are the modes, the conceptual modes of transfer, the advantages, and the disadvantages or pass-by-value, pass-by-result, pass-by-value-result, and pass-by-reference parameter-passing models?

  • There are two conceptual models of how data transfers take place in parameter transmission. Either an actual value is copied or an access path is transmitted.
  • The advantage of pass-by-value is its speed.
  • The Disadvantages of pass-by-value are, when copies are used, additional storage is required.
  • Storage and copy operations can be costly.
  • Pass-by-result has all of the advantages and disadvantages of pass-by-value, but more disadvantages. An additional disadvantage is that there can be an actual parameter collision, because order of expressions matter.
  • Pass-by-value-result has the same advantages and disadvantages as pass-by-value and pass-by-result with some more advantages. The largest extra advantage of pass-by-value-result is that it solves pass-by-reference’s aliasing problems.
  • An advantage of pass-by-reference is that it is efficient in both time and space.
  • A disadvantage to pass-by-reference is the increase in time to access formal parameters because of the additional level of indirect addressing. Secondly, if only one way communication to the called subprogram is required, inadvertent and erroneous changes may be made to the actual parameter. Finally, aliasing should be expected with pass-by-reference. Since pass-by-reference makes access paths available to the called subprograms, it broadens their access to nonlocal variables. These aliasing problems lead to decreased readability and reliability.


10. In what ways can aliases occur with pass-by-reference parameters?

  • Aliases can be occurring because pass-by-reference makes access paths available to the called subprograms.

17. What is parametric polymorphism?

  • Parametric polymorphism is provided by a subprogram that takes a generic parameter that is used in a type expression that describes the types of the parameters of the subprogram. Both Ada and C++ provides a kind of compile-time parametric polymorphism.

18. What causes a C++ template function to be instantiated?

  • C++ template functions are instantiated implicitly either when the function is named in a call or when its address is taken with the & processor.

19. In what fundamental way do the generic parameters to a Java 5.0 generic method differ from those of C++ methods?

  • Java does not use objects exclusively, java have no enumeration or record type. Whereas C++ Classes can be defined to have no parent, that is not possible in Java. All Java Classes must be subclass of the root class.

20. If a Java 5.0 method returns a generic type, what type of object is actually returned?

  • In Java any type or class can be returned by methods. Because methods are not types, they cannot be returned.

22. What are the design issues for functions?

  • Two design issues are functions.
  1. Are side effects allowed?
  2. What types of values can be returned?

23. In what ways are coroutines different from conventional subprogram?

  • Conventional subprograms are subordinate to their callers. When a routine calls a subprogram, execution suspends at that point in the program and resumes after the subprogram has run to completion. As a result, conventional subprogram invocation is atomic, much like a built-in statement in the programming language.


Problem Set

3. Argue in support of the template functions of C++. How is it different from the template functions in other languages?

  • C++ templated classes are instantiated to become typed classes at compile time. For example, an instance of the templated Stack class, as well as an instance of the typed class, can be created with the following declaration:

         Stack<int> myIntStack;

  • However, if an instance of the templated Stack class has already been created for the int type, the typed class need not be created.

6 . Compare and contrast PHP’s parameter passing with that of C#.

  • PHP’s parameter passing is similar to that of C#, except that either the actual parameter or the formal parameter can specify pass-by-reference. Passby- reference is specified by preceding one or both of the parameters with an ampersand.

8 . Argue against the Java design of not providing operator overloading

  • Arithmetic operators are often used for more than one purpose. For example, + usually is used to specify integer addition and floating-point addition. Some languages—Java, for example—also use it for string catenation. This multiple use of an operator is called operator overloading and is generally thought to be acceptable, as long as neither readability nor reliability suffers.

12 . Research Jensen’s Device, which was a widely known use of pass-by-name parameters, and write a short description of what it is and how it can be used.

  • Implementing a pass-by-name parameter requires a subprogram to be passed to the called subprogram to evaluate the address or value of the formal parameter. The referencing environment of the passed subprogram must also be passed. This subprogram/referencing environment is a closure. Pass-by-name parameters are both complex to implement and inefficient. They also add significant complexity to the program, thereby lowering its readability and reliability. Because pass-by-name is not part of any widely used language, it is not discussed further here. However, it is used at compile time by the macros in assembly languages and for the generic parameters of the generic subprograms in C++, Java 5.0, and C# 2005.

15. How is the problem of passing multidimensional arrays handles by Ada?

  • Ada compilers are able to determine the defined size of the dimensions of all arrays that are used as parameters at the time subprograms are compiled. In Ada, unconstrained array types can be formal parameters. An unconstrained array type is one in which the index ranges are not given in the array type definition. Definitions of variables of unconstrained array types must include index ranges. The code in a subprogram that is passed an unconstrained array can obtain the index range information of the actual parameter associated with such parameters