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this week's favorite

How often do people actually copy and paste from Stack Overflow?

April Fool's may be over, but once we set up a system to react every time someone typed Command+C, we realized there was also an opportunity to learn about how people use our site. Here’s what we found.

History of programming languages

The primary goal is to understand some of the major themes in the discipline as it exists today and how these themes evolved in several steps. Initially, the seminar will focus on two themes close to the instructor’s heart: how semantics emerged and how languages evolved that do not adhere to the common idea of a fixed syntax, scope, and semantics. The choice of other themes will entirely depend on students’ interests and preferences. All programming language themes are welcome.

Why programmers don’t write documentation

I believe that there are two main reasons software engineers don’t write documentation. Tools play their part but they are a hugely distant third.

Inheritance was invented as a performance hack

Inheritance was invented by the Simula language as a way to support intrusive lists, save memory, and simplify the garbage collector.

CSRF, CORS, and HTTP security headers demystified

With an increasing number of breaches, intrusions, and data thefts, securing a web application is extremely important. On the other hand, programmers often do not have a strong grasp of how attacks work and how to mitigate them. This post attempts to close that gap a little.