Characteristics Of Programming Languages



Codes appear in various forms known as programming languages. Some popular languages include JavaScript, HTML, Java, CSS, and Python. When you think about programming languages, you can liken them to our very own spoken languages because they share many similar characteristics – just some family members have very identical personalities.

  • Syntax And Structure. Programming languages for commands can overlap just like when using words in spoken languages. To produce text to screen in Ruby or Python, you are to use ‘print command,’ similar to using imprimer and imprimir when we want to print in French and Spanish.
  • Functionality Of Languages. All these languages can make the same functionality, similar to how all spoken languages can reflect the same phrases, objects, and emotions.
  • Natural Lifespan. Programming languages are created when a talented programmer attempts to create a fresh way or an easier method of expressing a computational idea. He presents this idea to his fellow programmers for approval. If the other programmers come to an agreement, they implement the language and use it for their programs. Hence, the programming language spreads and becomes existent.

If the programmers, however, do not agree to implement the said language or if they have found a better programming language, the same as in Aramaic or Latin, the programming language will eventually die and become useless.

If there are existing similarities between existing program languages, they also have their corresponding differences. They differ from their spoken languages in several ways.

  • Written In English. As opposed to spoken languages (except English), nearly all languages are written in English. This is true whether one is programming JavaScript, Ruby, HTML, Brazilian, Ruby, or Python. They all use English syntax codes and keywords even if the programmers who create them are French or Chinese.

Although there are a few non-English programming languages that exist like Arabic or Hindi languages, these are not popular and aren’t widely used.

  • One Programmer. As opposed to spoken languages, programming languages can be made by only one programmer or a single creator. Languages that can be created by only one creator include JavaSript (Brendan Eich), Ruby (Yukihiro Matsumoto), and Python (Guido van Rossum). 

A Comparison Of High-Level And Low-Level Programming Languages

A way to categorize programming languages is through high-level or low-level. The low-level languages communicate directly with the central processing unit or the CPU. They can perform very basic commands but are generally difficult to read and comprehend. An example of a low-level language is the machine code. The machine code utilizes only two numbers – 0 and 1. The Assembly language is another low-level language that uses keywords to do basic commands including reading data, storing data, and moving data.

On the contrary, high-level programming languages utilize natural language, which is why it is easier for us to read and write. When a code is written using a high-level language, such as C++, Ruby, or Python, a translator or compiler interprets the high-level language into a low-level code in a way that a computer understands.

Differentiating Compiled Codes And Interpreted Codes

As mentioned above, high-level languages need to be changed to low-level programming languages with the use of a translator or compiler, depending on the type of language. Translated languages are considered more convenient than compiled languages, as compiled languages perform faster than translated or interpreted languages.

But this advantage of speed in using compiled languages is slowly losing its popularity and importance, as nowadays there are a lot of improved processors allow for better performance and make differences between the compiled and the translated languages insignificant.

The high-level programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, and Ruby are interpreted. For these kinds of languages, the translator performs the program directly, interpreting each sentence per line, one at a time, into machine code. Other high-level languages like C++, Visual Basic, and COBOL are compiled. For these languages, when the code has been written, the compiler interprets all the codes into machine code, and then an executable file is made, one that is then spread through the Internet, CD-ROMS, and other media platforms. If you install software in your laptop or computer, like Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows, these are coded using compiled languages, which is typically C++ or C.


Programming For Websites

Software that is accessible on websites is slowly gaining more popularity compared to the installed software. I bet you can’t even remember when you last downloaded software from your computer. Big names on the Internet like YouTube and Netflix have now replaced Winamp and Windows Media Player. These apps enable you to watch movies and listen to music online more easily.


Additionally, the usually-installed word processors and spreadsheets like Microsoft Word and Excel are way past their famous years and are giving way to web software like Google sheets and Google Docs. The huge company is even launching its new laptops known as Chromebooks and apparently, these do not contain any installed software. Instead, these computers rely solely on web software for all its functionality.






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