A programming language is designed to connect instructions to a system or a machine and is used to control the functioning and performance of a system. Nowadays, there are several programming languages that are being implemented to get the desired results. Computer science however not only includes programming in it but programming is considered as an important part of computer science. Programming includes algorithms which include data and necessary steps to produce solutions. You will come across with different types of languages that will work for different fields.
Types of Programming Languages
The computer programming languages are classified into two types:
1. Low-level language
2. High-level language
1. Low-Level Languages
The low-level programming languages include the use of machine code such as 0’s, 1’s. The instructions are written in binary form and are the most understandable language used by the computer to perform its functions. It is further categorized into two types:
a) Machine Language – It is popularly known as the first generation of programming language and is the fundamental language which uses the instructions in binary form. For this, the computer doesn’t need any translator to understand the binary form of instruction. These binary codes are also called machine code. This language is not easy to learn as the machine language differs with respect to computers. As per the name, this language is specially written for the computer hardware and it directly processed by the CPU of a computer system.
The major advantage of this language is that its program compiles in less time as it requires no translation program. It will take few minutes in solving the task put by the user.
As mentioned above, the machine language is different for different systems; therefore it becomes specific to only one type of computer. In case the company decides to move into another type, then it will stress the programmer as he has to learn a new machine language according to the current system.
Hard to Modify
Machine language is very difficult to correct as it takes a lot of time to locate the errors and to debug them in the programming. Sometimes it is very difficult to find out the error which requires more time.
Programmer find it difficult to Program
A system directly executes machine language so; a machine language programmer must have knowledge about the hardware structure of the computer and this is the reason why it is done by experts only.
b) Assembly Language
Assembly language is popularly known as the second generation of programming language. But for this, the programmer needs to have a detailed knowledge of hardware specification. The program instructions of this language use mnemonics code instead of 0s and 1s. The assembler converts the program written in assembly language into machine code, and thus, the resulting program is known as an object code. The symbolic codes used by this language are meaningful abbreviations such as SUB is used for substation, MUL for multiply and so on. Therefore, this language can also be called a low-level symbolic language.
Easy to understand
Because it uses mnemonic code instead of binary, it is much easier to understand and use for the programmer in contrast with machine language.
Easier to locate and debug errors
In this, the programmers don’t have to waste their time to find minor errors. This language is much easy to understand, debug, and modify as compared to machine language.
A program of assembly language can be as long as the machine language program but, the time required for the processing of this program is faster than any machine language program.
Similar to the machine language, each instruction of the assembly language program is translated into machine language instruction according to the system. It can be said that assembly language programs totally depends upon machine language which can be time-consuming and difficult.
Good knowledge of hardware is a must
Assembly language program is machine-dependent so, a programmer must have a good knowledge of the logical structure of the system as to write a good assembly language program.
2. High-Level Languages
The programming and instructions of these languages resemble human languages. It takes less time to learn this language and also requires less time to write. It is easier to locate and debug errors in these languages. The high-level language is converted into machine language by two different languages translator programs; interpreter or compiler before running it. The following are the example of high-level languages:
The high-level languages instructions are written using English words, for example, print, input, etc. Different high-level language has its own writing program instructions, and these rules are called syntax of the language.
Merits of High-Level Languages
The high-level languages are very easy to learn as compared to low-level languages. The instructions written for the program are similar human language such as English.
The instructions written in a high-level language can be easily understood by another programmer.
Writing a new program in a high-level language is less time consuming and it takes less time to develop large software in a few days.
In a high-level language, a programmer can very easily detect errors and can remove them in less time. Most of the errors in this language occur during the compilation of a new program.
The best thing about high-level languages is that they provide a large number of built-in functions or procedures that can be used by a programmer to design a new program. With this, a large amount of time can be saved.
This makes the high-level languages different from the low-level languages as the program written is machine-independent. This means that a written program can be executed on any type of computer.
Demerits of High-Level Language
There are very few limitations of high-level languages:
A high-level language program has lower efficiency than the program of machine/assembly language. That is why the program written in a high level takes more time to execute and often requires large memory space.
The program of high-level languages is less flexible than machine and assembly languages because they do not have any mechanism to control a system CPU and memory.
The high-level programming languages are further types:
Procedural Programming popularly known as the third generation languages contains the methodology of written instructions in a sequence in which they must be executed to solve a specific problem. In this, the program is designed to express the logic using procedures. A procedure contains the sequence of instructions which have a unique name, and they are executed with the reference of their name. There are some popularly known procedural languages such as:
This language was developed for IBM computers in 1957 and was the only high-level programming language which introduced the concept of modular programming.
This language is named after the great mathematician and scientist, Blaise Pascal. Pascal is a procedural programming language that uses structured programming and is popular in the scientific field.
COBOL stands for Common Business Oriented Language, and this language was developed for commercial applications. This language is capable of handling a large amount of data.
This language is named after the first computer programmer, Lady Augusta ADA. This language was used for defense purposes such as for controlling weapons and missiles.
• C language
The most popularly known C language is developed by Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan. Though it is a high-level language, it also supports low-level languages, and therefore it is called a middle-level language. Its program can be compiled and run on any computer. C language is portable and has a large number of built-in functions to perform various tasks. This is why it is one of the most-used computer programming languages nowadays.
These programming languages are known as fourth-generation languages. In non-procedural, the order of program instructions doesn’t play an important role, but what is to be done is very important. With this language, a programmer can write English instructions to retrieve data from databases of the system.
Non-procedural languages provide the user-friendly tools to write instructions, and therefore these languages are easier to use as compared to the procedural languages. Also, they are less time-consuming. The popularly used non-procedural languages are SQL and RPG.
This concept was introduced in the 1960s, and now it has become the best and popular approach to make software. In this, the software can be developed by considering an object as a component of a program that has modules and data structure. The modules or methods function is to access the data from the object. It is a modern and easy approach to reuse the object in any other program.
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