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A vocabulary and set of grammatical rules for instructing a computer to perform specific tasks. The term programming language usually refers to high-level languages, such as BASIC, C, C++, COBOL, FORTRAN, Ada, and Pascal. Each language has a unique set of keywords (words that it understands) and a special syntax for organizing program instructions.

High-level programming languages, while simple compared to human languages, are more complex than the languages the computer actually understands, called machine languages. Each different type of CPU has its own unique machine language.

Lying between machine languages and high-level languages are languages called assembly languages. Assembly languages are similar to machine languages, but they are much easier to program in because they allow a programmer to substitute names for numbers. Machine languages consist of numbers only.

Lying above high-level languages are languages called fourth-generation languages (usually abbreviated 4GL). 4GLs are far removed from machine languages and represent the class of computer languages closest to human languages.

your program into machine language so that the computer can understand it. There are two ways to do this:

  • compile the program
    • interpret the program

    See compile and interpreter for more information about these two methods.

    The question of which language is best is one that consumes a lot of time and energy among computer professionals. Every language has its strengths and weaknesses. For example, FORTRAN is a particularly good language for processing numerical data, but it does not lend itself very well to organizing large programs. Pascal is very good for writing well-structured and readable programs, but it is not as flexible as the C programming language. C++ embodies powerful object-oriented features, but it is complex and difficult to learn.

    The choice of which language to use depends on the type of computer the program is to run on, what sort of program it is, and the expertise of the programmer.

    Figure



    For internet.com pages about programming language, . Also, check out the following links!


    More Information

    Outstanding Page An accelerated introduction to C++
    Links to several tutorials covering C++ and object oriented programming. This page is from the Interface Technologies Online Training Center. Updated on Jul 16, 1998

    Outstanding Page Interactive LISP tutorial
    This interactive LISP tutorial helps users who are in the process of learning this language. It consists of several chapters that collects the most important features and in each feature interacts with the user giving them immediate feedback. Updated on Jul 18, 1998

    Outstanding Page Introduction to common LISP
    This introduction to common LISP features plenty of information for those who are just getting started. Particular features are online resources, CLOS, as well as information for more advanced users. Updated on May 8, 1998

    Outstanding Page Turbo Pascal programers page
    Provides a large collection of online pascal resources. There are numerous links to drivers, compilers, FAQs, source code, and FTP sites. Updated on May 23, 1997

      Artificial Intelligence programming languages
    This page is a resource for artificial intelligence programming languages. Each language is listed, along with a brief overview, and a link to additional information on that language. Updated on Aug 15, 1997

      C programming language
    This page explains some peculiarities of the C programming language in the form of a 'Top 10' list. Updated on Mar 3, 1997

      Codepage 2.1 - Programming and Computer Science Index
    Large collection of sites, books, articles, and research labs for programming languages, methodologies, operating systems, software engineering, applications, and organizations. Updated on May 30, 1998

      Computer Programming links
    Provides an alphabetical listing of programming languages and links to FAQs, newsgroups, specifications, and documentation. Updated on Aug 3, 1998

      David's programming page
    This user page contains links to several programming sites for Pascal, Delphi, Qbasic, Basic, C++, UNIX, and the Internet. Additionally, this site features a source code archive. Updated on Jun 15, 1998

      Programmers Heaven Links Page
    Collection of resources organized by programming language name. Also includes links to programming related topics.

      Programming Language Research
    CMU collection of information and resources for research in programming language theory, design, implementation, and related areas.

      Programming language research resources
    Presents a comprehensive list of resources for programming language theory, design, implementation, and related areas. Updated on Sep 23, 1997

      Programming Languages
    Comprensive list of programming languages, past and present, with over 2350 entries.

      The Programmer's Source
    This resource page provides links to compilers, tutorials, literature, and software archives for C, C++, Pascal, and Delphi. In addition, there's a link to a language list - a quick reference guide for information on specific programming languages. Updated on May 22, 1997

      The Programming Haven
    Offers a comprehensive index to programming resources for Java, JavaScript, C++, Perl, Visual Basic, VBScript, and HTML. Updated on Apr 18, 1998

      Yahoo!'s Ada page
    Yahoo!'s directory of the Ada programming language. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Yahoo!'s BASIC page
    Yahoo!'s directory of links for the BASIC programming language. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Yahoo!'s LISP page
    Yahoo!'s directory of LISP. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Yahoo!'s Pascal page
    Yahoo!'s directory of Pascal. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Yahoo!'s Perl page
    Yahoo!'s directory of Perl. Updated on Aug 2, 1998

      Yahoo!'s programming language page
    Yahoo!'s directory of links to programming languages. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Yahoo!'s programming tools page
    Yahoo!'s directory of links to programming tools which are organized by programming language name. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      Yahoo!'s shareware for programming languages page
    Yahoo!'s directory of shareware for programming languages. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

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