Programming Languages

ProgrammingParlez-vous francais? Parla italiano? Habla espanol? This week we will discuss languages.  Not the romance languages of French, Italian, and Spanish but various types of computer programming languages.  In everyday life, we communicate with each other through language.  The same concept is true with a computer.  A lone computer is considered “dumb” unless it is programmed with a set of instructions to carry out and execute procedures.  Different languages have been developed to preform different types of work on the computer.  Languages are divided into two categories according to their interpretation.  They are listed below.

Low Level – Low level languages are written in machine code or close to it.  Computers can only understand binary code which is represented inside the computer by a string of bits (1 and 0).

High Level – High level languages give formats close to the English language enabling people to write programs easily and in their own native lounge.  Basically, high level languages use English words and/or mathematical symbols rather than mnemonic codes.  Each instruction is then translated into many machine languages.  Many high level language types have been developed for achieving different tasks. Some are specialized others are quite general.  Some of these types include:

Algebraic Formula-Type Processing – This type is oriented towards the computational procedures for solving mathematical and statistical problems.  Some examples are.

  • BASIC (Beginners All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code)
  • FORTRAN (Formula Translator)
  • PL/1 (Programming Language Version 1)
  • ALGOL (Algorithmic Language)
  • APL (A Programming Language)

 Business Data Processing – This type emphasizes the capabilities for maintaining data processing procedures and handling problems.  Some examples are.

  • COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language)
  • RPG (Report Program Generator)

String and List Processing – These are used to string manipulation including search patterns, inserting and deleting characters.  Examples are:

  •  LISP (List Processing)
  • Prolog (Program in Logic)

Object-Oriented Programming Language – The computer program language that is divided into objects.  An object is anything that is well-defined like a car, a bat, a door, etc. Some examples of object-oriented languages are:

  •  C++
  • Java
  • Python
  • Ruby

 Some popular programming languages used today are:

  •  Java – Java is one of the most popular languages used today. The program is a well-organized language with a strong library of reusable software components.  Programs written in Java can run on many different computer architectures and operating systems.
  • C – C is used with the UNIX operating system. Although designed to be portable in nature, C programs must be specifically compiled for computers with different architectures and operating systems.  C is a relativity old language, but it is still widely used for system programming, writing other programming languages, and in embedded systems.
  • C++ – This was written as an update to C. It attempts to be backwards-compatible with C and brings object-orientation for use on larger projects.  C++ is used to create a wide array of applications from games to office suites.
  • PHP – PHP is used to create dynamic web pages, and eventually grew into a fully featured object-oriented programming language. Today PHP is the most popular language used to write web applications.
  • Visual Basic – Developed by Microsoft for the Windows platform. Visual Basic is a good language for scripting Windows applications that do not need a lot of power.  The only drawback is it will only run in Windows.
  • Python – Python is intended for general programming. Python was not named for a snake but actually after the Monty Python comedy group.  Python is used as the main programming choice of Google and Ubuntu.

About Michael DeFlorio
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at

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