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Regarding Storing information in certain data types

I was trying to find a more appropriate tag for this question and couldn't. It is about implementation of variables, but not really about programming languages. It is not really computer architecture (but it is a bit related). It is not really memory-allocation, but it has something to do with memory and the way we keep information in the computer (e.g., register vs memory).

I feel that a tag is missing here, but can't put my finger on the right terms. "implementation"? "Low-level Design"? "hardware-software relation"? Help?


PS.

I had a similar feeling with Could you explain this signed fixed point number equation?; it is definitely about binary arithmetic, but I felt it should be tagged also as related to computer-architecture (which it is not!). As if a tag that deals with the implementation of things is missing.

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    $\begingroup$ I would go with programming-languages and compilers. (The question is essentially about types of integers in the programming languages in which YouTube servers are written, probably C++ or Java, and why they choose int32 for counters. One can go further and ask why C++/Java choose these and do not have an unbounded int type.) $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Aug 18 '15 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ (Or one can ask why processors do not support such types.) $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Aug 18 '15 at 0:09
  • $\begingroup$ I think this question offtopic and should be on Stack Overflow. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 18 '15 at 8:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Raphael I strongly object. $\endgroup$ – Ran G. Aug 18 '15 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ How is "why does Google implement X like this?" with programming-related X a computer science question? $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 18 '15 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ It has nothing to do with "how Google implement". There are two questions there: (1) is is possible to store a varying amount of information (2) Why this is not being used. Both are fundamental concepts of computer arrangement and programming. Every CS program I know has a class about these issues (along with memory allocation and low-level programming) usually during the 2nd year. $\endgroup$ – Ran G. Aug 18 '15 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ Then please edit the question onto the conceptual plane. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 19 '15 at 11:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Raphael I see no problem in the question as it is. $\endgroup$ – Ran G. Aug 19 '15 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Let's continue that discussion in chat. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 19 '15 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ not every tag has been "discovered" even as the site reaches some level of maturity! folksonomy / wikipedia $\endgroup$ – vzn Aug 19 '15 at 15:17
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I'll suggest a new tag , to cover all the algorithms a programming language needs to provide to make itself work (stack management, dynamic memory management and/or garbage collection, threading libraries, basic math libraries, stack unwinding for exception handling, float-to-string and string-to-float conversion, dynamic dispatch, ...).

For this particular question, I also added tag because this is a question about arbitrary precision arithmetic.

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  • $\begingroup$ My answer notwithstanding, this seems to be a reasonable proposal. Assuming that "runtime systems" is the technical umbrella term for the things you list, which I can not confirm. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 19 '15 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ Given the feedback, however thin, I think you should start using the tag and see where it leads us. I don't feel able to decide where the tag is appropriate, so please add it where you see fit. I'm sure talking to Gilles in Computer Science Chat to hash out the specifics can be worthwhile. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Sep 9 '15 at 10:19
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For this particular question, and maybe to whole complex you are thinking about, we do not need a tag. Such questions are offtopic.

The computer science answer is easy: there is no conceptual problem with creating data types for arbitrary amounts of data. There is also no conceptual problem with building registers that are likely to handle any viewcount Youtube can ever achieve.

Therefore, answers to such questions are based in practical limitations which, to my understanding, are beyond our scope.

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    $\begingroup$ There are plenty of conceptual problems with creating data types for arbitrary amounts of data, including ensuring the correctness of the representation, access performance, resource requirements, etc. This involves several branches of computer science such as data structures and algorithms, execution models and compilers, and processor architecture. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 19 '15 at 19:26

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