Language is a medium to communicate ideas, opinions and instructions. Communicating instructions requires the use of methods, abstracts and examples that can be followed by the receiver. A programming language is defined as a computer language that is used by developers or programmers to write functional instructions for the computer (Beal, 2022).
This article focuses on discussing the importance of language in programming a computer and exploring some of the commonly used computer languages.
Different types of programming languages
A low-level programming language is a machine-dependent language written to translate instructions into binary i.e 0 and 1. As there is no need for an interpreter or compiler, thus, the language is fast. It could be majorly classified into two types:
- machine language and,
- assembly language.
Machine language also known as an object or machine code is displayed in the form of hexadecimal or binary form and provides the advantage of faster program execution (Alubady, 2022). Assembly language on the other hand works with the processor and represents instructions in form of human-readable and symbolic forms.
An assembler is used to convert assembly language into machine language but still as the time of execution is less and the memory required is low, thus, the language is still effective (Javapoint, 2022).
A middle-level programming language is also known as a pseudo-language or intermediate programming language. This language works as a bridge between the computer’s programming layer and the hardware (Technopedia, 2022). The middle-level language supports high-level programming language and reduces complexity by making it human-friendly. Some of the popular middle-level programming languages are C++, C, and Java Bytecode (Jacob, 2020; Technopedia, 2022).
Types of high-level programming language
The high-level language could further be classified as:
- procedural-oriented programming (POP),
- object-oriented programming (OOP), and
- natural language.
Procedural-oriented programming is structured programming based on the call concept wherein the entire program is divided into small parts known as functions or routines. These functions provide the benefit of easily tracking program flow that facilitates the reuse of the parts of code in different programs (BBC, 2022).
Object-oriented programming is based on objects wherein the program is divided into small parts called objects. The language provides the benefit of having real-world entities like abstraction, inheritance and implementation. Objects enable the reusability of code and add efficiency to the process.
Natural language is the human language part used by machines for interpreting and understanding human language by performing tasks like summarization, topic segmentation, or translation. Language enables direct interaction with humans and provides and addresses human queries in plain language (Hernyák, 2014).
Understanding the role of compilers in a programming language
Computers are machines that follow instructions without any conscience bias. Thus, to instruct computers to perform a task, the instructions have to be coded in the language that computers can read. Although computers can read instructions only in binary, it is a daunting task for a human to develop an application using only binary. Thus, to make it easier for humans to write thousands of instructions as codes that humans can easily relate to compilers help to translate human-written codes into machine-readable binary codes (Mcgill, 2022). This makes computers perform large sets of repetitive tasks more efficiently and accurately.
Why learn Python?
Unlike Java, C, C++, R, and PHP, Python is witnessing incredible popularity and growth lately. Python is defined as a general-purpose high-level programming language with versatility with the feature of building different functions (Rossum, 2018). Python is a dynamic, open-source, and high-level programming language that supports object-oriented and procedural programming. The Python language is an interpreted language that does not depend on compilers and is executed line by line. This also makes the language versatile and does not have any operating system preferences.
Most programming languages consist of their own set of rules, grammatical structures, and syntax that creates the need of understanding a completely new vocabulary. But this is not the case with Python. As the programming language follows the rules of commonly spoken English thus, its syntax is simple (Linner et al., 2021). Python also has an active community to resolve program-related issues and problems (MRCET, 2019). The language also provides a reliable and efficient environment for developers to develop powerful applications in data science. Lastly, the presence of an advanced level of automation, multiple libraries and frameworks, extensive use in data science, and a vast range of in-built solutions makes working with python handy for developers (Huenerfauth et al., 2009).
- Alubady, R. (2022). Programming Languages : Classification, Execution Model, and Errors.
- BBC. (2022). Types of programming language. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z4cck2p/revision/1
- Beal, V. (2022). What is a Programming Language? https://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/wikispeedia/wpcd/wp/p/Programming_language.htm#:~:text=Purpose,degree of precision and completeness.
- GeeksforGeeks. (2022a). Python Features. https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/python-features/
- GeeksforGeeks. (2022b). Top 10 Programming Languages to Learn in 2022. https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/top-10-programming-languages-to-learn-in-2022/
- Hernyák, Z. (2014). High-Level Programming Languages II. Object-Oriented Programming in practice.
- Huenerfauth, M., Rossum, G. Van, & Muller, R. P. (2009). Introduction to Python. Harvard.
- Jacob, R. (2020). Computer Language and its types.
- Javapoint. (2022). Classification of Programming Languages: Low-Level and High-Level. https://www.javatpoint.com/classification-of-programming-languages
- Joshi, P. (2019). Imperative programming. L.S. Raheja College of Arts and Commerce.
- Linner, S., Lischewski, M., & Richerzhagen, M. (2021). Introduction to the Basics. Julich Supercomputing Centre, March.
- Mcgill. (2022). Programming language. https://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/wikispeedia/wpcd/wp/p/Programming_language.htm#:~:text=Purpose,degree of precision and completeness.
- MRCET. (2019). Python Programming.
- Pilli, R., & Kumar, K. S. (2019). Characteristics & Features of Python Programming. JAC : A Journal Of Composition Theory, XII(X), 845–847.
- Rossum, G. Van. (2018). Python Tutorial. Python Software Foundation.
- Technopedia. (2022). What is Medium-Level Language (MLL)? https://www.techopedia.com/definition/20789/medium-level-language-mll#:~:text=Medium-level language (MLL) is a computer programming language, layer of a computer system.