Many of the so far asked questions focus on language design. However the title of the site is 'Programming Language Design and Implementation'. There are questions on compiler implementation, but they mostly focus on front-end related things. Now while writing this, I stumbled upon this question about optimizer implementation, but it seems to be a lonely exception so far.

So are questions on optimizer/backend implementations on-topic on this site?

While I personally would love the answer to be "Yes", one could make the argument that optimizers and compiler backends often strive to be language independent and thus making them less acceptable here.

And by the way is there a page where it's defined what's on-topic and what's not? I only found this rather unhelpful page.


2 Answers 2


Yes, these are on-topic. These areas are part of the implementation of programming languages, and I can't see any principled rule that can even distinguish them from other language questions. Whether the particular piece of backend in question is language-independent or part of the backend of a specific language is not material.

Implementation questions in general are a bit lonely at the moment, so these may not get much activity either, but they are on-topic and welcome to be asked and answered.


As to that rather unhelpful page, it is annoying, see my question here. I would say that yes, they are acceptable. We should strive to be inclusive.

  • $\begingroup$ We shouldn't strive to be inclusive at all $\endgroup$
    – mousetail
    Commented May 25, 2023 at 5:29
  • $\begingroup$ Why? @mousetail $\endgroup$ Commented May 25, 2023 at 9:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ We need to choose what is on and what is off topic. Some topics may be more suited to other sites $\endgroup$
    – mousetail
    Commented May 25, 2023 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ If the "I" in PLDI means anything, it means this. And we should be inclusive of this. $\endgroup$
    – Pseudonym
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 6:23

You must log in to answer this question.

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