A Programming language is basically the mode of communications between programmer and computer. It is a set of commands written in code, which instructs the computer to execute specific tasks. There are many kinds of programming languages, but they can mostly be classified according to two key types: Low-level and High-level languages.
Low-level programming languages are machine-dependent, written to directly correspond to a particular computer. They are considered to be “close to the hardware,” hence a programmer working with this language would require a deep understanding of computer hardware. This type of programming in turn can be grouped under two categories – Machine and Assembly language.
Known as the first generation language, Machine language was the first kind of low-level programming language ever developed, it is practically the only language that can be understood directly by a computer. It is usually written in binary digits, a numeric system consisting of 0’s, which denote the absence of an electric pulse, and 1’s, which indicate the presence of the same.
Programs written in machine code can be executed quickly and efficiently, and since it is essentially the native lingo of a computer, can be directly processed by one with no need for prior translation. The downside, however, is that it is a very difficult programming language to work with as the programmer would need to remember all technical details, from every operation code to every memory address. It is also very hard to modify or look for errors in a machine language program.
The second-generation low-level programming language, Assembly language was created to surmount the disadvantages encountered in the first generation. Rather than using binary code, it is instead written in an alphanumeric mnemonic code, which is easier to understand for programmers. This also makes it easy to modify, find, and correct errors in assembly programming. However, in order for a computer to process and execute this type of program, it has to be decoded back to machine by a language translator.
High-level programming language was developed to allow people to write computer programs easily. To this end, it incorporates natural language elements such as English terms and mathematical symbols in lieu of raw binary or mnemonic code. As such, they are easier for programmers to learn and understand.
It is also easier to modify high-level language programs, as well as to track and correct errors. Unlike low-level programs, high-level ones are not machine-dependent and can be run on any computer system. But while a translator can convert high-level language into other programming languages, the process takes up time and may prove inefficient in contrast to a corresponding program written in assembly language.
There are various types of high-level languages, each developed to perform certain problem-oriented functions. Algebraic Formula-Type Processing languages are geared towards solving problems related to mathematics and statistics. Among these programs are the Beginners All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC), Algorithmic Language (ALGOL), and Formula Translation (FORTRAN), which is the first and oldest high-level language still in wide use today.
Business Data Processing is a type of high-level language that handles data processing, file management, and business applications. Examples of this are the Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL) and Report Program Generator (RPG). String and List Processing is utilized for string manipulation, which includes data collecting and listing. Programs under this type include Program in Logic (Prolog), and List Processing (LISP), the second oldest high-level language after FORTRAN.
Object-oriented Programming (OOP) is a high-level language that designs programs in the form of interacting “objects” containing data fields. C++, Java and Python are among the general-purpose programming languages that support the OOP model. Visual programming language (VPL) enables a programmer to manipulate program elements through the use of graphics rather than with text. Useful in education, multimedia, as well as game and app development, programs employing VPL include the APP Inventor for Android, the Blender graphics software, and the Blender Game Engine. These types of languages assist in creating website platforms such as Bootstrap. An example of a bootstrap website is Kik Girls which is used to find Kik girls and Kik nudes. Bootstrap uses these languages to create very clean and easy to use websites.
Whereas low-level programming operates in terms of pure machine logic, high-level programming reinterprets those terms into a medium that is easily accessible to the layman programmer, thus making it much more user-friendly. Despite the advantage, however, this does not make low-level languages by any means obsolete. While complex and daunting to comprehend, the fact is that they run much faster and more efficient than high-level programs.
All in all, each type of programming language has its own set of pros and cons, and the choice of which to work with falls on the particular programmer’s preference and level of specialization.