What is a programming language?

We explain what a programming language is and how they can be classified. In addition, some examples of these programs.

  1. What is a programming language?

In computer science , a program for the construction of other computer programs is known as the programming language . Its name is due to the fact that it comprises a formal language that is designed to organize algorithms and logical processes that will then be carried out by a computer or computer system, thus allowing to control its physical, logical behavior and its communication with the human user.

This language is composed of syntactic and semantic symbols and rules , expressed in the form of logical instructions and relationships, through which the source code of a particular application or piece of software is constructed . Thus, the final result of these creative processes can also be called programming language .

The implementation of programming languages  allows the joint and coordinated work , through a related and finite set of possible instructions, of various programmers or software architects , for which these languages ​​imitate, at least formally, the logic of human languages or natural

They should not be confused, however, with the different types of computer language. The latter represent a much broader category, where programming languages ​​and many other computer protocols are contained, such as the HTML of web pages.

  1. Types of programming language

programming language
Low level languages ​​are designed for specific hardware.

Normally one distinguishes between the following types of programming language:

  • Low – level languages . These are programming languages ​​that are designed for specific hardware and therefore cannot be migrated or exported to other computers . They take full advantage of the system for which they were designed, but do not apply to any other.
  • High – level languages . These are programming languages ​​that aspire to be a more universal language, so they can be used interchangeably with the hardware architecture , that is, in various types of systems. There are general purpose and specific purpose.
  • Mid – level languages . This term is not always accepted, which proposes programming languages ​​that are midway between the previous two: it allows high-level operations and at the same time the local management of the system architecture.

Another form of classification is often the following:

  • Imperative languages . Less flexible, given the sequentiality in which they build their instructions, these languages ​​program using conditional commands and a block of commands to which they return once the function is carried out.
  • Functional languages . Also called procedural, these languages ​​program through functions that are invoked according to the input received, which in turn are the result of other functions.
  1. Examples of programming languages

Some of the best known programming languages ​​are:

  • BASIC . Its name comes from the acronym of  Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code  , and is a family of high-level imperative languages, first appeared in 1964. Its most current version is Visual Basic .NET    
  • COBOL . Its name is an acronym for  Common  Business- Oriented Lenguage  ( Common Business- Oriented Language ) and it is a universal programming language created in 1959, oriented mainly to management computer science, that is, business. 
  • FORTRAN . Its name comes from  The  IBM  Mathematical  Formula  Translating System , and is a high-level programming language, general purpose and imperative type, designed for scientific and engineering applications.  
  • Java . An object-oriented, general-purpose programming language whose spirit is summarized in the acronym WORA:  Written  Once, Run  Anywhere , that is: Written once, it works anywhere. The idea was to design a universal language using syntax derived from the C and C ++ languages, but using fewer low-level utilities than either.

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