There are many types of computer languages, which vary in function and syntax. Knowing these differences can help you choose the best language for your programming needs.
The first type of computer language is machine language, also known as object code or machine code. These languages use a binary system of 0 and 1 to transmit commands to a computer’s central processing unit.
Machine language is the lowest-level programming language that a computer can understand. It consists of binary digits (ones and zeros), which the computer reads and interprets as instructions.
Every computer can understand a limited set of machine language instructions that are arranged in a sequence to tell the computer how to solve a particular problem. These instructions are interpreted by the computer’s central processing unit (CPU).
Programming in machine language can be slow and error-prone, because it requires the programmer to manually manage each of the small numerical values that make up machine code instruction sets. However, today’s modern assembly languages streamline the process of composing programs in machine language to a great extent.
Scripting languages are high-level programming languages that are interpreted rather than compiled, making them easy to learn and use. They also require less memory from systems that run them than compiled programs.
Several different scripting languages exist, including Python and Perl. These languages can be used for task automation, website building and data analysis.
Scripting languages can automate tasks in a variety of environments, such as application software, text editors, web pages and operating system shells. They are also used in embedded systems, such as the Linux kernel, and computer games. They can also be written to extend the functionality of a particular program. For example, many computer games use custom scripting to add additional functions and features to the game. These languages are often called extension languages.
A declarative language is a programming paradigm that describes the end result rather than the steps needed to get there. This style of programming is more readable and easier for non-programmers to learn.
It also makes it easier to create code that can be used for multiple purposes. For example, it is much easier to specify a construct that will stop at the first error instead of having to add error listeners for all possible errors.
Declarative programming is commonly seen in languages such as SQL, HTML, and Prolog. It is also known as constraint programming or logic programming.
Document Formatting Languages
A document formatting language is a standard text-encoding system that enables the presentation of documents. The markup symbols are interpreted by a computer, printer, or browser to control the structure of a document and how it should be displayed.
Document formatting languages are primarily used for text documents, such as books and articles published on the Internet. They can also be used for describing other types of data, such as mathematical formulas or geographic information.
There are two basic types of document formatting languages: descriptive and procedural. Descriptive markup systems label parts of a document along conceptually established areas. Examples of these systems include HTML and XML.
World Wide Web Display Languages
The development of the World Wide Web made it possible to transfer files across computers using the Internet, a system that uses a protocol for communicating between computer applications. Software writers used this protocol to write a range of browsers, most notably Mosaic for the X-Window System environment and Java for the PC and Macintosh environments. These programs are compiled into byte-code and shipped to Web browsers, which interpret them and execute them on the client’s machine.